Monday, 15 August 2011

Dust and Dreams

Yesterday I made the big mistake of starting to clean and organise my work room. Nothing wrong with that you might think, and indeed it desperately needed to be done, but I kicked up a dust cloud of monumental proportions. That wasn't cleaning, it was a natural disaster!

Once upon a time my workroom was the spare bedroom. It isn't very large, although it is bigger than the tiny utility room I used to use, but when all is said and done it is still only a single bedroom, and rooms that size tend to look cluttered no matter what they're used for. Add chisels and planes, saws and stains, and sandpaper by the ton and very soon there is barely room to turn around...and that's without the wood. I knew it would be a big job to get it all back into some kind of order, I just didn't appreciate how big.

There is always going to be a degree of mess when you work with wood. Stripping off bark, and sanding are not by their nature tidy jobs. The bark isn't really much of a problem. That can simply be bagged up and taken out to the compost heap after my wife has picked out all the 'pretty, curly bits'. (I'm not sure what she's doing with them. I'm kind of scared to ask.) Its the aftermath of the sanding that is the nightmare. The dust gets everywhere, every tiny nook and cranny. Now, I'm basically a clean and tidy person. I tidy up my work bench and sweep the floor everyday (honest!), but I have to confess I'm a bit lax when it comes to cleaning up that dreaded dust. The only part of my work room that gets a regular dusting is my altar. The rest, well, that builds up bit by bit until I'm forced to tackle it. Which brings me back to yesterday.

The fact that my wife wouldn't venture past the door should have given me an inkling into how bad it was; a slender arm would pass in cups of tea from a safe distance before she retreated to hide her new hoover before I got any ideas. But you know what its like when you're busy and in the middle of it all, you're always the last one to see. Last night I had to use my inhaler for the first time in years and I'm seriously suffering today. I got up the worst of it with the old, dying hoover; the one I inflicted mortal wounds on the last time I used it (to vacuum up after I'd sanded down the walls when we were decorating) so now it tends to blow out almost as much as it sucks up. When what's left of the dust cloud has finally settled, I'll have another go. Glutton for punishment, that's me.

Oh how I dream of a proper workshop; one with plenty of space to work and stack materials. There would be a big, solid work bench running down the centre and racks for my tools around the walls. I'd have room to work outside when the weather was fine and a big roaring fire to keep me warm when it wasn't. There would be no neighbours so I could make as much noise as I liked and work all night if I wanted to. It would, of course, be in a wood and close to the sea for forays into the wild for deadfall and driftwood. It would have electricity and be free to rent and cups of tea and sandwiches would magically appear whenever I wanted them. Oh and every idea I had there would work first time and elves would come in at night to clean up.

If anyone knows of such a place contact me @in-your-dreams-you-mad-druid-now-stop-fantasising-and-get-back-to-work-that-room-won't-clean-itself!

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