Review in the Kent On Sunday, 25/2/2007
They say that life changes at 40, I believe it does because it is a saying engraved into everyones' mind, me being no exception. So halfway through 39 I decided to put my past behind me, which consisted of repairing cars and motorbikes; owning and operating a tipper lorry and plant machinery; factory maintenance and driving a tanker for a local firm which seemed to be losing the plot as quickly as losing its customers. "Plumbing", that's for me but I am not the best student, so the thought of sitting exams to do the full range of central heating systems and paying a lot of money to become and stay corgi registered made me re-think. "Just bathrooms that's the way to go". So a good friend who was just semi retired came round and trained me whilst doing my bathroom. When it was well underway I carried on, on my own. Much to my surprise I turned into rather a perfectionist and by the end of the job I had a great bathroom. But I cannot say I enjoyed doing it, the joy only came when the last tile went up and the mess was finally cleared. Lets face it I had the best scenario a bungalow (no stairs).
But I did enjoy making my partner Lisa a copper trade stand to display her hand made jewellery (you can visit her craft websites at www.huggabilitybears.co.uk and www.lisabdesigns.co.uk).
In January 2005 I got a call from a lady in Sevenoaks, who was told she needed a new drainage system which was going to cost a lot of money and destroy part of her well cared for garden. This is a field I know a lot about so I spent a week sorting out the old one, saving her a huge fortune. Over the next year she was kind enough to give me more work and whenever I was on site I checked upon the system, over a year later it is still perfect. One day there we had to fit a copper tree water feature into her pond, this is where my inspiration first begun. None of my designs resemble in any way this tree but it did inspire me to design my own trees. I got home that night buzzing as I had most of the things I needed to start. As I switched the tv on that night "Country Ways" was profiling a 73 year old gentleman who made lock/safety knives. He did this from a work shop at the bottom of his garden. The knives were unique, ornate and beautiful; and aimed at the top end of the market. He seemed very happy in his work, body and mind.
The thought of making something of beauty and selling it to someone who appreciated it every time they saw it is very appealing. Hence the chapter begun...........