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It’s Been a Nice Week

Last week was hot for England, hotter in France though, thankfully , and by that I mean it stopped there and didn’t hit our shores quite so hard. What’s 32 celsius in old money? 90F. It’s an easy calculation: 32C x 9/5+32=89.6F. this evening is cooling of with small clouds scudding across the skies ahead of me. My bike is my treasure. I follow the river path and see the fox scurrying away. A pheasant escapes through my disturbance and lives to roost another day.

My research work with woodworking for autists continues to stir me as I investigate options in methods of work and write down thoughts for new curriculum. It’s working well. Our long-term ambitions are manyfold. Embracing autist craft workers is an exciting thing to be involved in.

The houseful of furniture is never off my radar either. Whereas I lived through the 50s and 60s where and when DIY peaked as a democratiser of home work and repair, we now live in an age where people are looking to plan out their approach to woodworking. We’ve done surveys to find out what people really want and making your own furniture is a priority for us to pass on. Imagine, people becoming masters in their own right and not mere spectators. I am so looking forward to seeing how my efforts translate into the lives of the people who follow.

Some of my work involved reading through old books on woodworking and they were really more bad than good, which thinking on it now is surprising to me. Things started to change even before the digital era came along but then when it did it sped up the process of change exponentially. I am glad to be a part of it even though in the age of such mass information is more misinformation than good information. Unfortunately everyone is their own expert. But people are starting to see through the fake things more and more and young people are much more savvy than we often give them credit for; they somehow see genuineness and thereby the difference very quickly. My three apprentices are able to adapt and absorb so much information it’s amazing me. One completes a wall shelf as another starts one. The tools are always busy and so too the workbenches. What a wonderful world.

Hannah and I have been researching work to present autists with an alternative training curriculum. Anyone who understands autism and interacts with autists will understand the complex issues surrounding neuro-diversity. We have come to some level of conclusion that we already present good study course materials via our Common Woodworking site and indeed Woodworking Masterclasses too, but we need to present some things with added information, images and drawings and such if we are to reach out not only to autists but inclusive to a wide sphere of people who might otherwise feel it is an exclusive craft or exclusive to them.

My experience teaching many, many thousands one-on-one tells me that we all need to be included. I’m hoping our current work will remove any barriers as we learn more and more about the needs. Autism is my more special interest area, but what we find often is that research and development for wellbeing in one area can be of great help to benefitting others in other areas.


  1. Max™ on 29 June 2019 at 9:38 pm

    I don’t bother calculating, just started ignoring the failenheit temperatures. If I’m going to convert anything it will be to Kelvins but these are easy to remember values.

  2. Wayne Bower on 29 June 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Canadian friends say that 90% of their population lives within 100 miles (~160k) of our northern border and they are accustomed to watching US TV stations and translating F to C. Some of their gouges (and a couple of mine from aviation are:
    15=60 standard sea level aviation performance charts
    22=72 perfect day for golf
    28=82 easy transpose

  3. Smudgefish on 29 June 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Temperature and how you measure it according to where you live aside, it is truly inspiring to know your work with Autists continues, to spread the word and methods of true craftsmanship across all aspects of the spectrum.
    Keep up the good work!!

  4. John on 29 June 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Paul …love to hear you work with Autists …well done.
    Our daughter simply loves her job supporting young people ( colleagues) on a one to one having found them work. Working for TEAM DOMENICA.
    In Brighton (UK)
    The founder, Rosa was with her Daughter, Domenica, on TV recently.

    Nationally only 5% find work….Team Domenica have a success rate of 37%……you will see Zac now working in the Grand Hotel Brighton….our daughters first colleague.

  5. Bob Hatfield on 30 June 2019 at 12:33 am

    Hi, Paul, I really enjoy your posts, but am not sure why you would be thankful that it’s hotter in France than in England. Explanation?

    • Paul G on 10 July 2019 at 7:50 am


      It’s already given: “by that I mean it stopped there and didn’t hit our shores quite so hard”

  6. Neil Christie on 17 July 2019 at 11:51 pm

    I built up a collection of woodworking books. I found that those written after the 1960s were pretty useless. They assumed the reader had knowledge in one area but was a complete beginner in others. All s bit confusing . They tended to be a vehicle for the writer’s obsessions , petty hates and sponsors products.
    Books written earlier tend to be more informative and written in a more literate fashion.
    Charles Hayward’s books are excellent.
    I have an Edwardian volume which is particularly well written and seeing chaps woodworking in high collars and ties makes me feel that I have no business working with scruffy tools or having sandwiches on the bench.

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