Thursday, April 15, 2010

Duty is in the eye of the holder.

Watt's the difference between a rock and a stone?
Bobby Watt of RJW Stonemasons in Ottawa defines a 'rock' as being 'an unemployed stone'.

The image comes to mind of a lot of random rocks all hanging around in a quarry somewhere waiting for someone to come by and put them to work. They spend a lot of time waiting. Hopes are raised and then dashed as masons come and go from the quarry looking for good stones. If only the rocks could have the opportunity to prove themselves. If they cant work for quoins or piece work then maybe for some sort of 'accommodation'. If only they had a construction job or some sort of duty holding something up. Hey, they could be good for something, surely?

Big trucks arrive but the rocks are only going to be used for land fill. Other trucks pull up and load up to take rocks to be dumped along the side of a ditch to stop erosion.

Then a smaller truck drives into the quarry and some enthusiastic dry stone wallers clamber out and scamper over the rocks getting really excited about what they see.

They roll a few over and pick one or two up in their hands.

" Wow, these are really great stones! They will work fine in the wall. What kind of stone do you think it is?"
" I dont know it looks like mostly granite to me."
" Lots of different sizes and shapes, and so much hearting too. What a great find!"
"And they are practically giving the stuff away."
"Yeah, they told me the stuff is good for nothing."

They get the big quarry loader to scoop a pile of the 'sandstone' into the waller's truck. And then they happily drive off with rocks that are about to become stones in a dry stone wall, and the rocks dont even mind being taken for granite.


  1. Great stuff! Always found it interesting that if you're in a canoe, you have to watch out for the nasty ROCKS. But if your'e trying to cross the river on foot, those same dangerous rocks are stepping STONES.

  2. Good point. Maybe there are some more unexplored rock/stone thoughts here.