Sunday, December 05, 2010

Communist Constructions

The Communist loved making things out of wood.

He had hands the size of spades. Mine look exactly like his but are - fortunately - at least somewhat smaller. But, like him, I have no natural talent at all for anything requiring artistic or craft skills.

However, he didn't let this stop him. Everything he made was, therefore, huge and very, very solid. If cement could be "brought into the equation" (as he would say) then he was even happier.

When I was a child I had what must have been the heaviest pair of home-made stilts in Yorkshire. It took me about ten minutes and much effort just to lift them and stand them upright. Nevertheless, I did learn to walk on them and when I tried out a friend's shop-bought pair it was like flying in comparison.

Because the bluetits used to peck their way into the milk bottles, the Communist made small hinged chests to keep them in. Merely lifting the lid was a good workout for the milkman.

Our bird table, another of his constructions, is probably thirty years old now. It looks a bit battered, but it's still safe for any passing eagle to land on it. The base is cemented into the soil underneath. At the time of the Iraq war, several people who knew the Communist commented that under the bird table might be the safest place to hide if any Weapons of Mass Destruction were found to be heading towards this part of Leeds.

In his late seventies he was given some old pine headboards and bits of wood from pine beds. He was in seventh heaven and constructed some of the oddest-looking, and certainly heaviest, garden chairs and benches out of them.

And it's there I leave him, for now, on the patio at the back of his new house, in the early years of this century, sitting on the biggest garden bench in Yorkshire, and snoozing in the sunshine.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jennyta said...

My Dad has always been one for making things out of other things, especially wooden things. The back garden has a pile of wood acquired from a neighbour and hoarded because 'it might come in for something.'

5:49 pm  
Blogger Grumpy Old Ken said...

A man after my own heart!

8:11 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I doubt that The Communist would have been very impressed by the kind of flimsy flatpack junk that IKEA describe as "furniture". Solid and sturdy is best - just like Yorkshire people - with a few knots and knobbly bits but hardly any screws!

8:46 pm  

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