Tools, and what that means to you.

Tools, what does the word conjure in your mind? Is it a set of metric spanners, a garden rake and fork, or perhaps scales, mixing bowls and spoons. We are surrounded by tools, filled with tools, and our minds use tools all the time to make sense of what is around us, to find a solution to a problem or a path to a desired goal.

I’ve always loved tools, both physical tools, hand tools, and those tools between the ears that we develop over time, and that serve to make our lives simpler as long as we remember to use them. Having moved around the world, possibly more than I should have, I’ve had to leave most material possessions behind on several occasions. After the first few times, I became aware of what was important to me and what I could walk away from without regret. Most material things can be replaced if they are important enough, and as time passes that list diminishes to just a few items; just a few tools.

At the top of that list now, is my ThinkPad,  a tool that I use every day, and the one that gives me the most satisfaction. Some might consider it strange to call it a tool, but for me it is. It is a tool above all else for writing, but also for staying organised, resolving problems in a spreadsheet, designing our new chicken coop, and as time passes, a backup for fading memory.


pile of tools


Despite numerous relocations, and years wandering the oceans, I still have hand tools that I bought forty years ago, which says something about their worth to me. Almost everything else has been abandoned, or in a few instances, replaced later in life. When I think about why that is, I realise that it’s nothing to do with aesthetic or sentimental value, but as a means of self-reliance, to maintain, repair, and keep moving forward independent of outside help. It’s the same sense of self-reliance that attracted me to ocean sailing, where again, I selected my sailing tools to suit that sense of self-reliance. Those tools, of course, were very different; a plastic sextant, a ten-dollar watch, and a stack of paper charts was all that was needed in a physical sense. The rest were the tools that live in my head.
What are your favourite tools? Pots and pans … planers and saws … whips and chains ??

Leave a comment below and let me know.


I’ll leave you today with a song that has nothing to do with tools, but about Timbuktu, which was almost the subject of the day.



Thanks for calling in. If you want to see what others are doing for ‘S is for -‘ today, check out some of the other great blogs on the A to Z Challenge

Join me again tomorrow for a look at ‘U’. Until then, happy reading.





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Author: A.J.

I have written as far back as I can recall. Until 2011, that writing was just for me, or as rambling letters to friends and travelogues to the family. I never thought about why, or if others did similarly, and the thought of publishing never entered my head. Since I left England in 1979, I have been collecting experiences, people, and places. From the blood-soaked streets of Kampala, the polluted dust bowls of the Sahara, or the pristine ice floes of the Antarctic, I have gathered and filed them away. Some have recently squeezed through the bars of insecurity and are now at large in the pages of my first three novels. Others await their future fates.

3 thoughts on “Tools

  1. slfinnell says:

    You should see my husbands tool inheritance. We’ll need to have an auction. Lol
    A to Z blogger

    1. A.J. says:

      No … keep them all! You can never have too many. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with the challenge.


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