Knots are extremely useful devices for securing a wide variety of items and pensioners should practise and perfect the four main types in order to be prepared for any eventuality.

The reef knot.  Right over left, left over right is the simple mnemonic for tying this ubiquitous knot.

The Turk’s head virgin.  A variation of the rolling hitch with French loop, principally used to secure boy scouts to canal boats so that they can be towed through narrow locks.  For the pensioner, however, it is ideal for lashing scones and jam to a plate so that they’re not predated by passing brigands or gulls.

The double mouse with flying sheet.  The best option for safeguarding a bicycle or mobility scooter outside a shop or bowling club – being virtually impossible to cut without a thermal lance and particularly effective if made from venomous snakes such as pit vipers or boomslangs.

The node runner.  Ideal for general purpose use, not only extremely quick to tie, but can also be made from spaghetti, 5-amp electrical cable and the stems of Himalayan balsam.  The node runner is sometimes confused with the nude runner, which is a type of hairless bean, and the nude runner, otherwise known as a streaker.