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The English System of Education

How it shaped my life. This will be the first of series of blogs as I try to come to terms with it. Between 1944 and 2004 education was a...

Boots

At school I was never much good at team games. I was OK with the team bit. The problem was what you were physically required to do....

Hurdles, Horses and Workouts

In the days when I had an office job I couldn't wait to get into my workshop when I could find the time. In those days I thought of it as...

Greenwood gate

Our house is built into the hill. As a result, the roof at the back comes down to three feet from the ground. The track you can see is a...

Warps ,Garlic bowls and Uniqueness

It was about 8 years ago when the indomitable Christian took down a huge ash tree and brought me a whole crutch section - he knows what I...

The hive

Malcolm the beekeeper explained to me in great detail, most of which I don't remember, why the People's beehive (otherwise known as the...

Bees, hives and eccentrics

I am not a bee keeper. However, we do keep bees. They are not our bees. They belong to Malcolm. Malcolm is a fascinating individual, and...

Holly wood

Last year at the Spring Bank Holiday I participated with colleagues from the Peak District Artisans in the Derbyshire Open Arts event, at...

Names, Signs and Letters

In 1993 we were living in a small house in St Mary's Gate in the centre of Wirksworth, but looking to buy somewhere in the Derbyshire...

Spin and Spinners

A couple of weeks ago I had an email from a person who identified himself only by his first name, which I didn't recognise. He just asked...

Winning and Losing

I've had a good autumn of turning, including successful shows and quite a few interesting commissions. In the run up to Christmas I...

Symbiosis

Big word, but it perfectly expresses the relationship between trees and fungi. They live off each other. Not all fungi of course....

In praise of maple

I wrote a couple of months ago about about the field maple that had to come down and how what was to have been a big bowl split into two...

Twisted Trees

Every January Jacky and I go up to the Forest of Bowland in North Lancashire for a few days walking. It's a forest only in the Norman...

The Speed of Giants

BOOKS I've recently read two books about trees, both of which I would recommend. One is "The Hidden life of Trees" by Peter Wohlleben...

Pathology, chess, and paying homage

PATHOLOGY It was probably in 2002 when the University of Derby had bought the Royal Devonshire Hospital (which includes the Dome) in...

Misadventure in the turning shop

A few weeks ago my trusty woodsman cut down a large field maple. It was one that we had planted 25 years ago to fill a hole in the hedge....

The Mystery of Yew

I don't know what it is about yew, but it exercises a fascination over people who are not workers in wood, but who love the wood, or the...

River wood

Our smallholding in the upper Amber valley is fortunate in that it has the river running through the middle of it. It can be very...

Centrepiece

This is an exercise in how I let the wood dictate the form. Next weekend is the Peak District Artisans' Winter Arts Fair at the...