. . . when we start work again, so I’m back in the saddle!
You have to imagine that this is Monday 4th January 2021 because I wrote it and was about to post it but my site got hijacked so they could tell you it was my birthday!
The new designs in furniture for the house starts in earnest this week and Joseph and I have put our heads together for weeks to determine the sequence of making. I just finished my Brazos Rocking Chair to test out the how-to book I wrote. The design is almost two decades old and checking the minutiae went very well. At first, I thought, not much to change here but then I decided to add to the whole and it increased by a dozen and a half pages. Also, by way of a change that happened accidentally and now I want, I did lower the front end of the arm to the front posts. This made the arm more comfortable and the greater upsweep towards the rear frame posts added the elegance I wanted.
Today I left the house just after five and rode for just over an hour when, skirting the river Thames for a couple of miles on a straighter stretch I let rip to gather speed. 25 mph is good enough for me. Just as I peaked, a muntjac scurried out from the bushes and my front wheel barely brushed his fur. No damage and a decent swerve saved the day.
Today I am 71 years old! My cycling at point freezing was a celebration start and I loved the freshness of the chilling wind in my face. Imagine getting to 71 years of age as a manual worker and having zero pains or even twinges in your body. I have felt fitter in the last few years than I did at 50 and even 40 years of age. I pulled my jeans on this morning and noticed a card tag beneath the belt. They are newish jeans and this is what the tag said: 33″ waste.
I recall 20 years ago being 44″ but at the start of this year I was still 38″. I have not dieted or gone hungry for a minute but I do exercise on a stricter regime. That means that throughout each day I do squats, skip and jump and so on. But where the real exercise comes in is in my work. My work is a total body workout. It’s my mental, emotional and physical stimuli. My work has been the very best of therapies and the reason is I decided never to ever work for money again. That does not mean I don’t need to pay bills and such, just that my work is so much loved that I cannot wait to get to it. I work for the love of it. Hmm hmm! Just imagine! Oh! The weight loss? I changed many habits! As of March 2020 and the beginning of UK COVID-19, I stopped eating my cafe breakfasts and lunches and started to cook all of my meals at work. Suddenly I knew exactly what I was eating and if you just saw the breakfast I just ate you would wonder how it was possible, to, one, eat so much, two, lose weight. I have never counted calories but I do count carbs because I am also a diabetic long term. I know calories will be more accurate as you can calculate intake with output but for me this works exceptionally well.
Looking back on 2020 might seems somewhat blurry but here at the workshop we’re as productive as ever and we never missed a beat. With 52 weeks of videos filmed last year, we’ve created many hours of content for everyone to both cut their teeth on and then produce masterclass levels of work too. This year promises to be even better we think. I won’t list all of the projects because it would take another page but we have much to do if we are to keep pressing the message that there is more to real woodworking than just machine work. I am champing at the bit to start this new year with new ways to see woodworking. Today, even as I speak, I am standing in the garage workshop with wood around me and on my bench. The wood will be my new design in rocking chairs within a few days. I hope that this adventure excites you as much as it does me!