In March I took a couple weeks and planned a hectic itinerary to check off a few boxes for me in the UK. With a couple days at the front end to manage the jet lag and a couple at the end, both in London, I walked around the city, most days averaging almost 20 km per day. When I worked there, this was a regular routine, allowing me to experience most parts of the city close up.
|Trafalgar Square on a typical Spring Day|
To the Midlands...
This was mostly to be a woodworking focused trip, so I headed up to Birmingham to connect with friend and woodworker Kieran Binnie of Over the Wireless fame. I would stay with him and his wonderful family for the weekend and we would drive over to Newark to attend the Midlands Woodworking Show where he had a booth. This was a good show with Classic Hand Tools (CHT) from Ipswich hosting a number of Hand Tool folks during the show. This allowed me to reconnect with the likes of Ollie Sparks, Shane Skelton and Mike Hancock from CHT. Since the European Woodworking Show's hiatus, it has been tough to see these guys in person. I also wrote a piece for Furniture and Cabinetmaking magazine on the show to be published in the next issue.
|Ollie sparks new lugged plane in gorgeous Phosphor Bronze and ebony.|
|Shane and Jacqueline Skelton talking all things saws|
|There were some amazing turners there and Andrew Hall let me try on this Elm beauty|
|Very cool to see my hammer in the CMT booth.|
|Curtis Turner from LN and Kieran Binnie working out the nuance of the scraper plane.|
|Kieran Binnie showing off his 12-string to a show attendee|
|Plane making legend Bill Carter was there - great to catch up.|
After the show it was back to Birmigham for the weekend to enjoy some down time in the Midlands; we spent Sunday in Kieran's shop talking shop organization and his Roubo bench project underway. Great to catch up with a good friend.
Time for some teaching...
|Lots of prep work organized for the big day|
|Talk - he does.|
|Cooking up some goodness|
|Very interested in the next step...|
|The happy group showing off their boxes|
After an exhausting day and post-class beer(s) with Jamie I was back to London on Wednesday to connect with a good friend from my work days in London. This meant thinking about the flight home and managing the time change the other way.
All in all, a very rewarding and enjoyable trip, already thinking when I will head over again -maybe later this year, who knows?