My life is a series of potterings these days. I don’t do anything for long, preferring to keep on the move doing this, attending to that, avoiding the things that I really ought to be doing. Of course along the way I pick up this from here and that from there and invariably it gets tucked inside one of my pockets.
You can tell a lot about a person by the contents of his pockets; what his interests are, the time of year, you can even get a rough idea of his age. On an average day I have between ten and twelve pockets to fill. My uniform of combats, gilet, shirt and tee shirt give me plenty of compartments to lose things in. Of course, there comes a time when my pockets need rationalising so, usually alongside a complete change of attire, I empty my pockets onto the table.
I’m always surprised with what I find. The wallet, keys and small change are a constant and I always carry a Swiss Army knife. Recently I’ve taken to carrying a second multi-blade penknife – a nice shiny silver one – basically because it has a better screwdriver, scissors that spring, and a tiny torch. I also carry a small two blade knife with the Sellotape logo on its side which I have honed to razor sharpness and generally use for cutting garden twine.
I always keep a notebook in my shirt pocket alongside my pens, writing down thoughts that I’d otherwise forget; although I often don’t remember why I wrote them down in the first place. My Sharpie is invaluable for writing on plastic seed stakes and I was surprised not to turn out a couple of stakes from my pockets. No string either - now that’s a first!
Of course the string is probably negated by the small bundles of garden wire, nails, screws, and the odd elastic band or two. It’s always handy to have a fastening to hand. I don’t remember how the button got there, but the beer top is probably from the cheeky Speckled Hen I had for my lunch yesterday - well, it was a sunny day and I’d had a busy morning’s pottering, so I earned it.
My tape measure is designed to clip to my belt, but it generally lives in one of my pockets. I’m always measuring and this one has a tiny spirit level on one side and a small yellow plastic tube, which appears to do nothing, on the other. The cloth is just that, a piece of cloth I keep to wipe my hands on and the E45 is to rub on my fingertips as all my pottering has made them very rough. There’s also a pack of Ibuprofen tablets for my back which aches constantly even with a regular dose.
The rest is rubbish; a couple of receipts from Wilkinson’s, a biscuit wrapper, and a cellophane packet which (until very recently) contained Pontefract cakes.Of course this is just a snapshot of my pocket life. On another day they could contain my small folding hammer, boiled sweet wrappers, the odd fiver, I've even found a stray sock on a few occasions.
Thank god I don't have a handbag. Can you imagine what that would be like?