Thursday, January 8

Before everything...dad.






Dad's garage....was not for the car.
For on a rough wooden bench...with oil stains from sump oil spilled from the pot that was used to seal the wooden and tarred roof ....stretching across the garden end ... the important joinery was carried out.
 An ancient wooden and metal vice...with a long handle slotted through the turning screw and two balls of metal...one at either end  to hold the bar in place...was screwed to the bench.
Along the walls, held in place with strips of wood tacked on to the vertical structure, were off cuts of timber kept for use in future assemblages.
Under the work bench and to the right in the darkness was an ancient travel trunk with a domed lid and wooden slats that held down the oiled fabric on the top.
 In this trunk were kept scrolls extolling the different members of the Williamson family and their academic successes.
 And also in this treasure box under the scrolls were hidden beautiful 1st world war postcards with  messages of love embroidered on silken gauze and pictures woven to depict exotic places.
To the left and behind the side door, a dog's bed with straw and water dish, for dad was born a farmer's son and took a hound with him when he went hunting .He was always a country man at heart.
His woodworking tools were beautiful . Handmade by himself at the City technical college in his free time. Oak and mahogany handles turned and often enscribed with his name D.G.McC. There were wooden boxes on the top of the workbench holding nails, screws, hinges and other equipment in separate sections.
A window above the bench looked out to his garden of roses and perennials.And always a bed of sweet pea to scent the air at the end of summer.
Above his head, slotted along the roof joists were more lengths of wood. Whether they were ever used I cannot say but it all seemed to me to be a sacred place. Nowadays I suppose it would be called a man cave...and there is no doubt that it was a place of refuge from the hustle and bustle of family life.

In this holy space, a caravan was conceived and built.

Wednesday, January 7

Something Beautiful.

I'm reading "The lives of Stella Bain"...by Anita Shreve. Pat from the Writers Group recommended it...something in it reminded me of the blog...'Kind over Matter'...making an effort to act or speak kindly each day. In the novel a soldier in France in the First World War looks for something beautiful every day...not easy in the middle of such destruction and chaos. Perhaps I'll have a go at this....today I watched the bird feeders in the hotel garden where the potter and me are staying....the thrill was a woodpecker with its wonderful red tail feathers ...though of course...all the other little birds made a quick exit.