Friday, 11 June 2010

The perils of history

On a good day the children are delightful, the world is beautiful and full of marvellous curiosities, people are charming and I am content with myself and others.

On a bad day, say one when the children don't want to get going in the morning, you have a million things to do including a couple of important meetings at which you have to appear ironed, alert and vaguely intelligent…on days like that discontent rages unchecked.

Particularly, just say, that one of your previously delightful, curious and intelligent children says to you:

"Look Mum, I found this bit of old iron outside, do you know what it is? Oh and I thought the holes were finger holes and I can't get my fingers back out of them." The last was said with some nervousness at the potential parental response.

Given that I was in the car with the engine running and had only stopped my mad rush at the gate to pick up said child who likes to run down the driveway and wait on the gate singing to the birds and listening to the wind, the nervousness was entirely warranted. There was one finger of each hand inserted in the holes, producing the effect of finger cuffs. The fact that it was the middle finger of each hand was not lost on me.

We pulled gently -- no success. Start flashing options -- ambulance (no, probably not life threatening enough); RACQ and their "jaws of life" (probably too big and would take the hand too); just dropping the child at school (possibly some sort of violation of law, if not parental etiquette); okay, spit and wriggle. Success!

Any thoughts on what this is? American readers, please ignore the inch-like markings below the centimetres. It's my favourite ruler, one that I stash in my secret stationery supply drawer, and the markings are old Chinese inches. You have to turn it over to get imperial measurements. It's about 5 inches in length and feels like cast iron.


Vivi said...

It looks like a connector piece from an old machine. I don't have the words, but something that might hold two axels in parallel?

Or a metal bit that is meant to connect two fabric or leather ties. It's flat, right? So it's not a bridle bit. (hee hee, I wrote "bridal bit" originally. I shudder to think of what that could have been in pre-feminist days.)

All this means: I haven't a clue, either.

Anonymous said...

I think I can guess the child. . . .

Xs and Os, to all three, regardless of who has sore fingers.

Blithe said...

My neighbour sugggests that the piece might be a piece of chain link from one of those line trenching diggers. We've had them on the property ourselves when we had our power line put underground but it could have been from any time in the last 100 years.

Did you guess child #2 Ms Beats? If so you're right.