Lord Bill Morris came through the workshop today. We talked for a while, but to tell the truth I didn’t know who he was because A, I’m not too politically savvy and B, I haven’t watched the TV since about 1987. Supposedly my loss.But anyway, not knowing who he was made the conversation free from any assumptions from our different backgrounds and free to share the things important to us. I can’t imagine what it takes for any man to become knighted and then go on to become a Lord let alone a man from Jamaica. He first became head of the largest trade union in the UK. No mean feat but as Lord he took his seat in the House of Lords in 2006. I’m glad that I met him. I don’t know much about politics and likely never will, but he looked me straight in the eye the whole time we talked and I like that in any man.
I talked with a man who spoke American English today. I liked his bright eyes and the bright eyes of his wife and his two daughters. Jerry Hunter is a remarkable man. He’s from Cincinnati Ohio and a master in his field of Welsh Language in multidimensional creativity. Living along the coast from Bangor, Jerry teaches at the University. Anyway, we split wood, passed out the saw and spokeshaves and made a spatula from some pine. I realise that my bench is a little too high for children and my expectancy is unrealistic, so I will make one lower soon.The girls were gutsy. They only had a few minutes there, but they felt the fibre and smelled the wood. I split, they shaved. I shaved and soon the spatula emerged from a square scrap of wood. We all parted new acquaintances. I hope we will reach into the future as friends.
Yesterday I was working in the workshop when a man and his wife and two friends came in. We talked and he picked up one of my planes. He was left handed. He was accustomed to touching planes and I felt comfortable as he wrapped his hand around my plane. Nothing unusual really, but to me all of this is unusual. I though to myself recently that I would like to sit and talk to people who influenced woodworking over the past three or four decades. Sir John Makepiece is a man I have in mind. Well anyway, the conversation about wood continued and it transpires the man I was talking to worked for Sir John as one of his cabinet makers and still knows him. I hope I can have that interview and film it. Perhaps there are some answers there for future woodworkers. We have to have answers for future woodworkers without making it an economic strategy but an inheritance we owe our children.
Thanks to everyone for stopping by this weekend. You brighten my life.