We follow his cue–when he takes tea, so do we.
When he puts his cup down, we trail him back to work.
His name is John.
He’s been a joiner at the Miles and Company Yard for 17 years now.
I caught up with John after a busy weekend in Bristol. The quiet efficiency of his shop was in stark contrast to city street parties and pub football.
But as much as I wanted to chat longer with him, I didn’t want to interrupt his day. He was very cordial while the awestruck American snapped a few photos.
This morning, he was working on a set of library doors for a flat in London. The doors are made of English oak. The grain is perfect all through the stiles, rails and panels.
Panels feature the characteristic “cat’s paw” so common in English oak. John book-matches the knot patterns to great effect.
We see cat’s paws daily in our hewing as well:
…and festooning oak trunks on our walk in the wood the other day–
Steady and sure, his work is of the highest quality.
If Central Casting needed a traditional English joiner for one film or another, they would need to follow John around for a few days.
They would have to be prompt about their morning and afternoon teas, however.
I should be retired now…I’m 69 years. But I DO love my job.