I learned a few things about myself this week. One of these occasional Home Alone weeks. I learned that I still have that harming tendency to push on when it would serve me and others well to hit a pause. The chisel – as if independent from my twatting it with Albert’s mallet – takes an achingly predictable biscuit-sized chunk of wood with it; and with it the dream of just one clean mortise. The email gets sent, the tweet tweeted. I learned that I’m *that guy* who wants to speak with your manager. (At least about this I’m able to laugh the next day with the person involved.) I learned I only seem to cook well – or cater well and imaginatively for myself – when I’m upbeat to begin with… that stroll to the stove. I learned that friends do actually ‘reach out’. And I learned that relief and sadness can happen, together, in the same moment.
Away from the drawing board I pushed into some, well, bench exercises – the first serious, fun endeavour at the Tiny Wisteria Woodshop. New tools alongside old. New wood (relatively) and the very, very old. Reclaimed oak shelving from a closed-down Victorian school. Not a single screw or nail used, but all ass-wonky through-tenons and tremulous pegs. Bucket benches of the Pennsylvania Dutch; milking stools of Provence; Cricket benches of Yorkshire. My own Anniversary Benches. Named for this month that brings with it so very bloody many. And is likely to add more.