The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

A present of stones

The Jester Stone“I don’t know what we are going to do with these stones.”
David peered at the rocks that were arranged in a commodious pot just outside the front door of Einat’s house.
“I don’t suppose that you’d be interested in them, and the others?”
His eyes drifted to the grass and a group of sizeable flints.

“Yes please.”

They were all large rocks. Massive flints and other superb unidentified specimens. Stones are handy. They can stop up rat holes, block escape routes for the Min Pins and entertain the chickens in their run (they enjoy basking on them in sunny weather). Sometimes I like to put stones on the perimeter of the ponds so that toads and frogs can creep under them for protection from the midday sun.

Stones add a different dimension to the garden and seem to hold energy. I just like having them around.

“How are you going to get them into the car?”

When the time came I rocked them out of their holes and with a strength that wafted on the wings of desire I managed to totter to Jalopy’s front seat and stow them there for the journey home. When I reversed through the gates of the cottage they were hard to extricate from the front seat. Most are lying on the gravel where they disembarked.

One was carried into the house and scrubbed clean immediately. When I first saw him in Cambridge, I named him The Jester Stone. With one eye and a perky face he always welcomed me. Like any true wit he had a dark side. Sometimes he looked grim. But he propped up the garage door when I painted it and was a handy surface to stand on to salve the areas just out of reach when I was repairing cracks in the rendering. This stone had never languished in the commodious pot. He basked in the grass. If he assisted me he was always returned to his place. In the morning he seemed to smile as I drifted past.

When I washed him, the mud that had blinded the other eye was rinsed away. My pirate suddenly observed me unblinking from the sink. The one eyed perky look had gone. He now lies beside the front door. A new friend to watch over us.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Amanda

    Yes, I can see the St Bernard dog resemblence!

    If we were moving, the stones, crystals and Min Pins would move too.

  2. Love him! He looks a little like a St Bernard dog I thought.

    I love stones and once insisted that we acquire some by a stream in the lake district. They’ve moved with us three times now.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Michelle

    How interesting that your husband loves photographing trains. Danny says that he’d love to do this if he had the time! And Wendy’s husband also (just a few comments down).

    Couldn’t live without my stones. The Jester Stone is special.

    Hi Pat

    Yes, I spotted how much the garden centre was charging for stones when I made a stone circle in the garden. Ever since then I have accepted any stone that comes my way!

    Hi Moonroot

    I™m very lucky to have been given this stone.

    Hi Wendy

    Your stones with quartz sound wonderful.

    I have a very special stone that I found in Wales over thirty years ago. Large and flat with a perfect circle cut in the middle. Somehow it seems to hold some of that Welsh magic.

    Hi Magic Cochin

    That™s a great idea, a green man! I think that I™m going to try that.

    There™s something very satisfying about handling flint.

    Hi Plumsource

    He has loads of character , different expressions in different lights.

  4. plumsource

    wow! What an amazing face he has! Love him.

  5. magic cochin

    That flint has real character, if you grew a leafy plant behind he could be a Green Man.

    Huge flints remind me of my Grandparents garden. The front drive and the flower beds were edged with massive flints (well they seemed massive when I was little). I loved the ones with holes in them. I think grandad aquired them from someone who wanted them removed and dumped!


  6. I was so pleased to learn of your pleasure in bits of rock, flint etc. Like Michelle, my husband enjoys photographing trains and I often come home with interesting pieces of slate etc. We inherited some lovely pieces of rock when we moved to North Wales. They were edging an overgrown flowerbed. Really attractive white lumps with bits of quartz that glitter in the sun. I remember pouncing on them with glee, washing all the soil off, then moving large ones to display in other parts of the garden. The very small ones were brought into the house to display. Over the years visitors have been known to try and bribe me to obtain one “ no chance!

  7. moonroot

    He’s gorgeous!

  8. It does look like a face!!! Brian and I were at the garden centre and they were charging £6 a stone!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it. So you have received a small fortune there.

  9. michelle sheets

    Hi Fiona,
    I love your “Jester Stone”. I understand why he has a place of honor next to your door.
    My husband is photographer and his favorite subject is trains. What this has to do with trains, is where trains run there are always plenty of rocks. While he sets up and waits for his perfect shot, I roam the area looking for wonderful colors and shapes in local rocks, and many come home as momentos, reminders of historic rail lines, and great landscapes.

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