`What`s that going to be – a corral?`
George relates this without a hint of a tear, but one can only imagine the hurt inside – co-woodworkers can be so cruel. After all, this was only the half-way stage, and George`s frame was necessarily vast since it would be supporting a really vast upper.
Perhaps the coffee table was ambitious for a first project – the top, the legs, the bits the top sits upon… He could have chosen instead the plans for making a wooden spoon, or maybe gone for the boomerang instructions – both rewarding creations and perfect introductions to the World of Woodworking.
But no – for George this was a challenge that wouldn`t wait, and he certainly put his unique stamp upon its magnitude: eye-catching green 70`s tiling offering ample space for magazines, musical instruments or family pets; perfectly proportioned and jointed frame; sturdy struts providing foot-hooking support for those essential sit-ups.
Particularly useful for parties, of course - extra seating, room for drinks and eats, meetng point for anyone who`s lost...
And steadfast. This four-legged friend has been with him for forty years!
He was never to make another, but the lessons learned stayed deep in his soul; the tiling prepared him well for numerous flooring successes, and the wood turning no doubt helped with the bowed psaltery he made soon afterwards – a triangular stringèd instrument you perhaps play too... George doesn`t often, but he Could.
Do you like to Make Things Yourself? I`ve been racking my brains and must cast my mind back to Junior School, when our class was once told to make a Cloth Book Thing to keep pins and needles in.
This turned out rather well, and is still enormously useful for keeping one`s notions in order when a button has to be sewed.
Beneath that supremely colourful exterior lurks some strange stiff material with holes we poked the wool through.
It took me ages and frankly, I think Mrs Joiner could have been a bit more encouraging about my outcome.
Undaunted, I went on to make a fairly convincing Cauliflower Cheese in high school cookery. Sadly it didn`t cope well with the hour-long bus home, and when I unleashed it on the kitchen table it looked more like a brain in a swimming cap. (We had fish fingers for tea).
The made-it-myself I`m most proud of, though, was an Enormous pair of socks – birthday present for the colleague who had everything including size 13 feet. In fact I only made one sock because for a beginner-knitter it was extremely difficult, specially going round the corner.
Sadly I don`t have a photo because he was naturally thrilled with the sock and took it home. I remember it was at least an appropriate foot long, heel to toe, and a dainty one inch up the ankle. And colourful, being a recycling of people`s unwanted wool scraps.
He didn`t mention it again but I like to think he found it useful, perhaps as a thermos flask cosy, or a nice warm hat, a scarf, vest, Santa sock, doorstop, handbag, cat coat, fluffy toy...
Wow - one could set up a business!