Sam Cooke’s nightmare scenario of a man hammering from dawn to dusk for no apparent reason besides that of his ownership of a hammer is clearly on my wife’s mind whenever she sees me bearing tools. It is a though she is mentally leafing through a grimoire of twisted and misaligned fragments of wood that is the catalogue of my achievements in the field of carpentry. My work has a deep peasant like character of such ancient origins that it remains unrecognised as such by the peasants, who are our neighbours, and who believe it to be the work of visiting children or malicious spirits rather than practical objects. The ravages of winter on the wooden hatch covering the pool filter have forced my hand which has resulted in the reopening of Pandora’s box – aka “my tool chest”. In the ten years of living in the “wilderness” I have advanced from nails to screws whilst carefully bypassing dovetail joints and their ilk. A rudimentary geometry has entered the equation ( a worthwhile mixed metaphor) which has resulted in the foreplay of drawing straight lines on the virgin wood before I put on my blindfold and start sawing and hammering in the atavistic way that is my trademark. Another rudimentary cover for the filter is now in place leaving visitors to ponder on the mysterious tracery of purposeful pencil lines that adorn it, like some latter day Lascaux lido, but which have no possible relationship to its form or purpose. But, every cloud having a saliva lining most of which has dripped on us through these early “summer” months, the weather beaten planks of the now dismantled hatch cover MK1 have at last become something useful, although this is objective, by their transformation into a background and surface for still life photography. These are now happy planks that are safe in the knowledge that they will be taken into the shelter of the outhouse at the end of sessions, to be sheltered from the depredations of sun and rain, so that their hard earned patina may be preserved for their new life of leisure.