I have many years working in wood, using just hand tools (I don't own machines or use them) and use this in printmaking - particularly exploring Wood Engraving, using end grain blocks that I make myself and tools that I sharpen to a high degree of sharpness. I have built my own printing press, out of wood, which operates silently. I have experience in taking logs from trees, hand splitting them into quarters using traditional techniques, and air drying them.
I am interested in the Arts & Crafts Movement, and it's furniture, and in using hand tools only, and the craftsman skills that some writers such as LTC Rolt refer to (as does Clare Leighton in Four Hedges in referring to her gardener and their tools). Traditional skills and techniques are important and are things I enjoy reading about - I don't own wood working machines and prefer to work quietly with just a few hand tools.
Books are important to me, I always have one or more on the go. In fact 2 of John Mortimer's 'Rumpole' books support my keyboard.
I am interested in Art & Art History (many, including but not limited to wood engraving), History (19th-mid 20th Century), biographies (I’m interested in what makes up other people), transport (various) and Antarctic Exploration esp. from early 1900s.
Music has always been an important part of my life and I listen to Radio 3 for both classical and jazz music.
I was a chorister as a child / in my youth in a local church that also stood in for cathedral services when their choirs were on holiday - Southwell, Chester, Worcester, Peterborough & Leicester come to mind, then a lot of Bath & Bristol for RSM courses. It was quite an experience as an 8 year processing in to Southwell Minster and singing full choral evensong, then off to the provost (or similar) garden for tea. At University I sang in madrigal groups. From all this I have a particular interest in choral works, in particular early choral music.
I used to play Tenor/Soprano Sax player too, and was a member of various bands, including a Soul/Motown band that went around the region doing weddings, corporate events etc.
I do most of the cooking in our house, and enjoy it. I cook with the children, but as I'm not able to eat most of what they cook I often cook 'blind' in that I make but don't taste what it is like.
I enjoy gardening, mostly growing vegetables, which we do with success. We have spent a lot of time, money and energy developing our vegetable garden, and hope to continue to do so.
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