It’s been a while…

The last two months have been a bit crazy. At the moment my only job is teaching ESL online to kids in China. It’s a great job in the sense that I can work from home, but not great in the sense that during school terms available working hours are somewhat limited. However there are school holidays, and the last two months has been their summer break, so I jumped on the opportunity to request lots of extra hours, which has made my bank balance a bit happier.

Playing the piano, and woodworking, are my too favourite hobbies. Thankfully, I had enough time scattered throughout the last couple of months to practice my piano playing skills, and even managed a few uploads to YouTube along the way.

I also managed to find a few evenings to do some drawing, a new hobby which I only started pursuing maybe eighteen months ago.

But woodworking? Not really. Due to the fact that I do not have a permanent space, the setup and packup time made it impractical except on a couple of rare occassions where I couldn’t book any work. It was on those occassions that I made a start on my entry table, which is yet to be finished. You can read about this project here:

Along the way, my church celebrated its’ 28th Anniversary with a Kingdom Cafe setup and art gallery, including a still-life drawing competition for all age groups. Even though I’m still a beginner I decided to display my work anyway. I used a plywood shipping pallet to display my drawings, which were hung in plastic slips and attached using upholstery pins. It was nice to reconnect with wood, even in this small way. Surprisingly, I won the adult category in the drawing competition!

It was good fun, and I won a set of artists colour pencils, so looking forward to trying them out soon. That’s our Pastor in the photo, he also exhibited his work, also using one of my pallets to hang his display.

So, what about woodworking? This week kids in China are back at school. My daytime hours a free. Time to catch up on several things, including:

  • step up my Bible study
  • job hunting
  • get more serious with piano practice (I’ve actually bought a training course from thanks to a labour Day weekend 50% discount, can’t ignore a good deal! So looking forward to that!)
  • and get serious with woodworking…

In addition to a couple of magazines, including Good Woodworking Magazine, I’ve also been subscribing for the to Peter Sellers’ email newsletter, from which I’ve received a free course in building a proper workbench, which is something that I’ve been lacking. It’s been difficult doing some tasks on lightweight wobbling tables, so a heavy workbench is definitely on the must-needs list. The project includes a list of materials which I think I’ve covered with a variety of reclaimed woods that I’ve collected up over the last year or so.

So that’s my next big project. I hope I have enough materials. With the workbench I will start rethinking everything I’ve been doing. It’s all been about temporary pack-away, but this has major inconveniences, yet I lack a permanent room to set up as a workshop. I’m considering some alternatives, including supplementing my tool cabinet with one or two traditional dropfront style toolboxes for my handtools, keeping the cabinet for the bigger tools, but not sure about that yet.

I’m also considering something something that almost enters the realms of science fiction fantasy, taking a large old family car, cutting off most of the body work, and building a workshop onto the open floorplan. This might sound a bit wild, but there is a guy in England who has built the world’s fastest shed out of an old Honda (, so why not a small workshop? All it has to do is be capable of driving from the side of our house to the front of our house when I want to use it. Anyhow, the more I look into the tiny house movement and all the weird and wonderful things that are being done the less crazy my idea seems to sound. So, if you are living within a few hours drive of Phuket and you know of an old Volvo, Toyota Crown, or any other suitable vehicle that is either free-to-take or dirt cheap please let me know!

If you have any thoughts about this idea please comment below!

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