Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Guidance from the local hardware store

Ironing boards, step ladders, front door mats and bags of compost get stacked outside Beattie Trading on Darling Street every morning and taken in again each night. Our local hardware store is old fashioned, and all the better for it.

I have no idea of the owner’s name and I hesitate to ask, fearing to shatter the illusion. Since the day I met him three years ago, when a large white beard appeared behind a paint pot, he’s been dubbed Mr Christmas.

Guidance from Mr Christmas is freely available, and it’s not the sort of guidance you’d expect.

Alongside the home wares and gardening tools lined up along the pavement, Mr Christmas adds a blackboard. Each day a new message is chalked on it and those messages never fail to lift my spirits.

I recently started photographing them. Here are a few of my favourites:
























Mr Christmas smiles when he’s not posing for photographs.


10 comments on “Guidance from the local hardware store

  1. solidgoldcreativity
    August 21, 2015

    Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bkpyett
    August 21, 2015

    Love your name for this inspiring old man, Deb. What a lovely thing to do!


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      August 24, 2015

      Sometimes I don’t understand his messages. I’ve found out it’s because he’s a Tigers supporter and the weekend boards are about football!


  3. Eliza Waters
    August 22, 2015

    This is what we need more of in this world! Mr. Christmas sounds like a great guy. 🙂


  4. monsoonwendy
    August 22, 2015

    Beats Bunnings. Mind you I have trekked out to our local a but in past weeks. We do need a Mr. Christmas!


  5. candidkay
    August 25, 2015

    Oh my goodness! You have discovered Kris Kringle in his off-season digs! I love it:).


  6. debhuntwasinbrokenhill
    August 26, 2015

    ha, so funny to think of him in his off-season digs, I wonder where he keeps his costume?


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This entry was posted on August 21, 2015 by and tagged , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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