As someone brought up on a farm, and as a guide who spends a lot of time in the hills, I see plenty of gates. They are just part of farm life, and hill walking life, and serve a very useful purpose, usually. A very handy life skill is the ability to climb a gate in a couple of swift moves, (at the hinge end!) without making a big deal of it. This is one way to tell who was brought up in the countryside - gate climbing is something rural dwellers do without even thinking about it!
That is, if the gate is climbable!! I've spotted a few beauties recently and it's apparent to me that some people find it hard to let go. Take this one here below - its a classic! Whoever owns this gate is getting full value out of it!
As you can see, a broad range of materials have been pressed into service to keep this gate upright and elegant - the successor to "binder twine" - the modern blue answer-to-everything twine that solves most problems in a farmyard, some grey electrical cabling, (estimated by my engineer companion to be from the late 1980's), a little bit of blue rope to keep those spars at a jaunty angle, and at the other end of the gate, some fairly modern electric fence was keeping it upright....
Another, fairly recently erected gate also caught my eye - this one is climbed a lot as it is on a very regularly walked route in north Wicklow and it has'nt worked out well for either the gate or the climber...
However, on the plus side, there is a very special gate in the Wicklow mountains that is truly a once off and in a good way. The designer/engineer has assured me that it was designed with "walkers with rucksacks" in mind. However, to my walking companions and I, it is always known as the "Kim Kardashian Gate"!
And proving that people who live in glass houses should never throw stones, I discovered this great example at the bottom of field in front of my house - a lovely handmade gate, receiving a lot of backup from some wooden pallets!!
Finally, if you are finding it hard to recognise that it is time to part company with your gate, after years of loyal service, why not click on this link... music appropriate for that big decision