Rachel Wise: My Aladdin's cave with a handle

By Rachel Wise

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Rachel Wise
Rachel Wise

With the pet lambs getting bigger it was docking time this week.

Hence I was rummaging in the junk drawer in the kitchen. Felt pens with no lid, multiple. Torches with flat batteries, two. Batteries the wrong size for the torches, numerous.

There were the scissors I thought I had lost, vials of bubble mixture I had stashed away for the grandkids, tape measures (three), screwdrivers, clothes pegs and empty sticking plaster packets, tubes of superglue with the lids glued on.

And, aha, the elastrator with which to ring the lambs' tails.

Why, asked my husband, is there an elastrator in the kitchen drawer?

It's simple ... The handle of the "drumstick" for my batucada instrument was coming adrift and the most logical thing to use to fix it was a docking ring. Applied with the elastrator. Which then made itself at home in the kitchen junk drawer.

The junk drawer is the first port of call for anything that doesn't have an official place to be, along with many things that do have a place, but aren't in it.

Like the shower mixer handle that doesn't fit the shower. Junk drawer. The temperature gauge that was my grandmother's and is in Fahrenheit. Junk drawer. The tube of sunscreen that should be in the bathroom ... junk drawer.

The migration of random possessions to the junk drawer is balanced by an equal migration of vital household items out of the house, across the driveway and into - or close to - my horse shed.

"Have you shampooed your horse again?" my husband will ask after reaching in the cupboard under the sink and finding an empty space where the dishwashing liquid ought to be.

Or, looking for the cooking oil, he will sigh, roll his eyes and traipse out to the horse shed.

Well, olive oil in their dinner makes the horses' coats shiny and we don't want lacklustre coats do we?

"His" tyre black frequently ends up in the horses' makeup kit as well ... silicon is great for untangling manes and tails, while the hayshed has claimed the breadknife because it's excellent for sawing through baling twine.

The one thing we both blame each other for, though, and still remains a mystery, is who relocates all the hammers. And to where?

They're not in the garage where they ought to be but nor are they in my horse shed, or indeed, the junk drawer.

Or are they? Perhaps it's time to plumb the true depths of that drawer, maybe even ... gasp ... clean it out.

Come to think of it, I am missing a cat and the spare tyre for the horse float ... who knows what I'll find!

• Rachel Wise is Hawke's Bay Today's associate editor.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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