I remember making a fruit bowl at school out of wood. I used all sorts of different tools, some of which were very sharp and I remember spending a great deal of time carefully sanding it to get rid of all the rough edges. Weeks it took me.
Mr Old was my woodwork teacher and he’d walk around the workshop in his white coat offering advice and generally smelling of sawdust.
It was our last day working on the fruit bowl project before we were to be let loose creating a stool with woven seagrass. We were all looking forward to that.
There were some impressive bowls in the class. Hours of hard work. Mr Old was beside himself with what had been achieved. Until he got to me.
“I hope you are studying something else, young man,” was his reaction to my carpentry.
Years later, when we were clearing out the old family home I found the seagrass stool. Father had modernised it, added some extra stability and restrung the grass. The fruit bowl, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen.
Today, as I screwed the end of my shoe to the decking, Mr Old’s words echoed in my head and I wondered just how many of my classmates actually went on to be carpenters.