Le Chat, Oh!

Dramatically depicted wholly for your understanding, I wanted to relate about how there was a cat. And for the specific en-capturement of mice, this cat did stay very still and all up in the manner of a house. A chat-eau, if you will, see. Also, therefore, how by-and-by a property-searching mouse came along (budget unknown), who, spying the door ajar…


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Post from the Var Side, 2017 – Islands

It’s definitely brightening up, I say. And then the real rain sets in.

The new balcony view reminds (without sun), of a view from old Lantao – or the ferry bound for there, at least – with le Brusc and the Embiez archipelago a likeness for Peng Chau, Cheung Chau, Hei Ling Chau. Silver sea and olive hills.

Heavy dream sequences – I mean stories – on account of the electric shutters. All centrally-themed of chaos and lateness, disorganisation and daft decisions. Danger, even. Home – in various locations – and travel. And a very great deal of dependency upon me by others. Transport, when it is dreamed, is simply insane. Stowing away on the engines of trucks, walking towards motorways, lugging loads badly in bags. I’m not a great one for dream analysis, but nor am I an imbecile.

Foxes, one by one, flow across the bay.


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Yellow Morning

As quietly I spoon the coffee into the little basket, I hear the rain. On the big green parasol. All the leaves are friendly. It’s a yellow morning.

Sometimes the cat wants to come inside, decisively, in rain like this. Not today. Today I’ll go scouting for the last bits of wood to build her outdoor shelter.

A bird arrives on a handrail.

I search ‘Amish podcasts’.

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Holidays Come From Kittens

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Drawing it Together

As a very young child I used to believe, took it as read, that fathers – all fathers – made all the furniture in their family’s home. Informed, no doubt, by Enid Blyton or The Beano or the likes of Eric Sykes. (I believe it was a teacher who clubbed the belief out of me.)

Beside our wide wooden bed – maker, mother, father unknown – is a lovely book with ringing, resonating spirit. Peter Korn, furniture maker, woodworker and writer, in Why We Make Things and Why It Matters (Vintage, 2013), writes:

– about why we create:
… we engage in the creative process to become more of whom we’d like to be and, just as important, to discover more of whom we might become. We may make things because we enjoy the process, but our underlying intent, inevitably, is self-transformation. (Chapter 9, Second Epiphany)

– and about happiness versus fulfillment:
Happiness and fulfillment feel like two distinct states of mind to me, and of the two, I find happiness greatly overrated by those who present it as life’s ultimate goal… when I am creatively engaged I have a sense of purpose and fulfillment that makes happiness seem like a bauble. Ask me if I’m happy when I’m making something in the workshop and I have to stop and think about it. It’s not an important variable in the equation. (Chapter 11, A Miracle at the Heart of the Ordinary)

The ink loads the tiny brush and the hand on the end of my arm moves the brush across the little card. In the daylight of an afternoon the furniture’d drawn thoughts of things in Dad’s new room come, are conjured, or simply happen. Which is not to say are automated, or unowned; but rather just necessary, natural, or helpful. I probably had it nailed at necessary. The drawing brings uncertain things together; and I need this to be so because they are uncertain things about my self. The need to push again into the idea of what I might one day, as a creative being, and as a son, become.

Together and apart. I’ve missed, somehow, the new Season’s start of the History Channel’s Mountain Men. Watching, catching up, is coloured by knowing of the sad, sudden death of Preston Roberts, at frankly no age at all. His always somehow clever and sensitive separatedness, and yet togetherness, with the headline scrapes of Eustace, has long been a thing I’ve loved about the show. However it is assembled, however it is aimed. And it’s unsurprising that I read now about a life, his life, given to learning and to art and to the land; singing, dancing, raising homes. To fulfillment, I imagine, over simple, certain happiness.

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It is Both

It is Benches.
It is Wizzers.
Why is It?
It is Both.


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The Anniversary Benches

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.


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