There’s an old garden trug dangling from a beam in a corner of the garage and, apart from the occasional brush with my head, its presence remains unspectacular.
Yet on those occasions it is brought into service, it enhances a successful crop harvested as no other receptacle can.
It is both practical and attractive.
There are several types of trug available, including plastic, willow-woven, or the traditional Sussex type. You can view or buy these online so easily.
My favourite is woven and has many years of service but remains in decent shape.
Carry a bunch of cut flowers, destined for a vase, in your hand and the scene looks promising, but arrive at the kitchen with them, fruit or vegetables in this iconic trug and the chi is spot on.
This year alone, it has held variously cut flowers, herbs, marrows, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, plums and grapes.
It has also accompanied me on several talks, filled with an assortment of gardening goodies.
But it’s not some lucky mascot, just an essential part of the presentation.
At the Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick, we recently completed an ambitious but highly-successful HLF-funded project ‘If These Stones Could Talk’ and this fellow’s mind turned to the beloved trug which has accompanied me on many an engagement over the years.
It has travelled the length and breadth of the county and beyond. If only it could talk!
I’m not sure it would report favourably on its owner attempting to reach the high notes while enthusiastically belting out Jerusalem at countless WI meetings, or waiting patiently for the business, that precedes every speaker, to conclude, but there’d probably be a pass mark for effort and enthusiasm overall.