I’ve enjoyed these past three weeks back in North Wales. I have hardly seen rain as yet and most days have been sunny and bright. Though I like rain and cloud too, sunny days are always welcome. When I lived in Texas, my second home for 20 years, a sign on a ranch gate said the name of the farm and “where a good rain and a new baby calf are always welcome.” That sort of puts life into perspective for me. Life is more about balance than anything. Too much of a bad thing can be dispiriting, too much of a good thing makes us soft, fat-brained and unresponsive.
I worked at the castle doing different things to my creative workspace. Phil was with me. We listened to BBC radio 4 for a while until we got tired of some of the same ole, same ole, as the say in Texas. We have very much revamped the whole shop, culled out wood that accumulated for a ‘George’ job and relocated the wood racks that keep the wood in order. We have moved all of the benches and so many other things, but one thing really didn’t change much and that was my creative workspace where my tools and equipment surround me to my taste. I traded out my large bench for a smaller one because the students need to get in closer when I demo. We have some free one-day classes coming up between now and Christmas on plane craft and saw craft. Mostly about sharpening and tweaking, but using too. These seem to be areas of discouragement for most woodworkers and especially those raised on machine-only woodworking. A few hours in the shop breaks down the intimidation these two tool types seem to give.
The area is still a wreck because I am sorting through all of the cupboards you see and trying to find new homes for some things. By the weekend it will all be done.
We had an electrician in to PAT test all of the electrical equipment. It took four hours to test every plug, but he got through it systematically and it was nice knowing all of our equipment passed inspection by a certified tester. When you have the public in your workspace here in the UK, all electrical goods must be tested for safety.
Here was a treat! We were invited to a neighbours 80th birthday at 2.30pm. I never let much interfere with a working day but our friend is a very dear friend and one who has always expressed a lot of love and kindness and giving throughout her life. So today, this afternoon (yesterday now) Liz and I walked round to their house to join our friends, sit and eat sandwiches, drink hot, freshly made tea, eat scones and jam and cream and simply enjoy. I was the photographer for the event hence the pictures. I spent two hours doing this before I had to get back to the castle, which is very busy with thousands of tourists from around the world right now. Phil is leaving for a few days and needed to leave a little earlier than usual.
In the evening I worked to build a new shed for my garden storage. I also want to build a greenhouse when that’s done. The village as quiet, 24 houses clustered in a few acres, maybe fifty, and a single track road in between. We live next to an infant’s school so with school being out things are quiet this time of year. Apart from me pounding nails, the village is always quite restful.