Wednesday 30 December 2009

The best laid plans.....

Well as seems to always be the case at Christmas, things are not quite going to plan. It is almost as if the moment a clear space opens up, there are events waiting in the wings to rush in and fill the void. We've had a sad time, yesterday we were at the funeral of a village neighbour that we have known for 29 years and today, we are travelling to the Cotswolds to visit my ailing mother in law in hospital. She has dementia and it seems can no longer live on her own. It has happened so quickly - she is only 75 and was always so "with it".

We can't wait to see her, she seems quite bright on the phone, which makes the diagnosis even harder to bear. Perhaps we shall understand more about her condition by this evening.

Monday 21 December 2009


A happy and peaceful holiday to everyone! It's a very cold Winter here in Dorset this year, we even have some snow which is unusual. It's very pretty, but causes chaos on the roads and with the postal deliveries, I suppose we're just not geared up for it here. Last year we had snow that only stayed for two days, I rushed out and took some piccies.


The workshop is just too cold to work in at the moment so it's a chance to catch up on all of the administration that tends to get ignored in the warmer months. We shall stop working on Christmas Eve and hopefully not do too much until the New Year begins, a welcome break! Meanwhile I have some shopping to do and a lot of visiting to catch up on. Most of the finished furniture has gone home now so finally we may be able to return the dining room to a state fit for Christmas and Boxing Day meals in front of the open fireplace.

Even the cactus has put on a beautiful show for us this year.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

The Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair

I love these chairs, but they are so difficult to do. Mr Wegner was a brilliant designer, but I often wonder if he ever actually put a seat into one of his chairs especially the ones that have this rush pattern weave! Tension is so critical as is cramming in as many coils as possible, it is the one seat weaving job that is hard on the hands. This particular chair is an original 50's/60's oak version, so has a lovely patina. It had been re-woven once before, but because it was done in the wrong material and pattern it had sagged badly, this is what it looked like.

Here it is now.

It goes home tomorrow. Now I go back to more cane panels, a footstool, some drop-in Magistretti rush seats and the Davenport of course.

The Davenport....nearly there

It been a hard slog, it always is at this time of the year when the bad weather and short daylight hours combine to diminish the time available to work effectively. But at last, the Davenport is going back together. The polish has hardened enough to do the final cutting and waxing of the finish, although the dampness in the air will probably delay that process still longer. I'm pleased with it so far.

Might be finished for Christmas!

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Power cuts

Yesterday was a disaster! At 7am the electricity went off and didn't come back on until 9.30am, then it stuttered and failed every 3 minutes or so until lunchtime when finally it seemed to be sorted out. We had power then until 4pm, when it went off again. Nightmare! We didn't dare to switch on the computers, the heating didn't work because of the electric pumps and timer controls and I had to dash up into the attic clutching a torch to find our old phone, the only one we have that doesn't need an electrical supply to work. I'm sure that some people tried to phone us but couldn't get through because nothing was working properly - sorry if that was you! By 4.30pm it was dark, so we had 10 candles lit and our wind up radio for company. Two customers turned up to collect things and found the sight of us fumbling around looking for things in candlelight quite entertaining and romantic at the same time! The electricity company had a recorded message on their helpline, our area had serious supply problems and there would be no power until mid to late evening as they had emergency repairs to carry out to their equipment. Great - and last night was the coldest we have had so far this winter, between -3 and -5 degrees C.

A bit of a wake up call really, you don't miss something until you no longer have it. It has made us even more determined to set up our own green heating and lighting from renewable sources - watch this space! I sent up a little prayer when I woke up this morning to see the comforting glow of the electric alarm clock.