My grandfather was born in 1901. Looking back it seemed to have been an interesting time to have been alive. His was the generation for whom world changing ideologies promised the fulfilment of utopian dreams. He dabbled in communism and had a thirst for adventure.
For me as a child what was most important was that he had a great tool shed.
By the time my brother and I arrived on the scene my retired grandfather would potter around his garden in a small semi-detached house in Swindon in the south west of the UK, an industrial town he'd moved his family to during World War II.
I remember spending hours in his tool shed where there'd be numerous half completed woodwork projects. They weren't really DIY projects, my grandfather was a man who'd spent his life applying his intellect and creativity to practical engineering projects, he'd worked with iron and steel, for him wood was a soft option! One didn't see mass produced tools in his shed, he'd made most of them with his own hands.
Piles of well used old tools are pregnant with memories for me. I remember aspiring to my grandfather's brand of gentle, patient masculinity. His eyes had seen many things some of which he would never speak.
The picture here is from the workshop of a blacksmith on the Black Sea coast.
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