My lovely partner, aka Mr Shoestring, is an intensely practical man with the make do and mend philosophy embedded in his genes. If he sees a piece of useful wood or a window in a skip he will ask if he can have it – he might need it one day. He claimed a job lot of used bricks from Freecycle and, when I spotted a huge old shed on there, he rushed to borrow a van so that we could have it (just in case we ever needed a massive old shed!). If I need a shelf putting up, a saucepan handle mending, some painting doing, the drains clearing, he will be round in two minutes with his toolbox in hand. He is the frugal woman’s knight in shining armour.
He found some rickety old wooden garden seats, which most people would have taken to the tip, did some minor repairs and painted them. We have sat on them many times with mugs of tea in our hands admiring the garden.
Rather than throw away a wheelbarrow he came across in a ditch because the bottom had rotted away, he welded a new sheet of metal onto the bottom and it is still in use.
His new project is to build up the sides of the large Freecycled shed and put a roof on to match the one that was in the garden when I moved in. So he is hammering away in the November sunshine, and making the most of being able to get outside.