Workers in the workshop … part 1
He knows I am there. He steps aside and draws the tilly lamp along the work bench so we can share its beam. My dad carefully places the plane he is using on the shaft of an oar, on its side so as not to damage the blade. He takes the pencil from my outstretched hand. He selects a chisel from the bag by the door, checks the cutting edge and gently sharpens the pencil with the three required strokes- looks at the point and hands it back. He returns to his work
‘I want to draw, what can I draw?
He clears a space amongst the twirls of shavings and places the cup back on the bench.
I position myself on the floor back in the doorway and make careful lines looking back and forth at the cup as an artist might.
Making careful pencil marks, I wonder ‘why he doesn’t drink his tea – he know it make her cross’ Instead he sweeps away the shavings some fall at my feet, others fill the vacant saucer.
Thinking perhaps, ‘If I should tidy some away but where?’
I begin to make finishing touches to my drawing, I put the pencil on the tip on my tongue to intensify the colour of the cup on the page and write my name in the corner – the picture is boldly finished
I hope that he now drinks the tea and reunites the cup with its saucer. Sometimes his ‘ways’ amuse her but usually they make her cross. Today I don’t want that, already I am not in favour my school shoes are showing considerable wear. His relaxed attitude to domestic stuff and the behaviour of his little brood was difficult for her.
‘Where will the money come from?’ my mother had asked uneasily.
This is why I find solace in the workshop; my dad cares little about worn shoes.