I will have made three new paddles this week and I think that will do for now. The stack of Ash paddle blanks has dwindled and the stock of new ones, at eight, is enough. I think the call of my workshop is too great to resist, plus the need to earn some cash, so next week I will return armed with a tub of hand sanitiser.

The wonderful outcome of this new relaxed way of working has been the time to think up new ideas. Dreaming, is the other way of looking at it, and now I can make a paddle with my eyes closed there is even more time for the mind to wander.
The first “idea” is an old one that has popped up again and centers around the obvious fact that I do not have a canoe with which to try out all these paddle shapes and sizes. I also have realised that I could, one day, work from home in a bigger workshop than this potting shed. The notion of a sideline business in canoe building appeals on a number of levels but is un-realistic unless I could reduce my overheads to near zero.

The big challenge will be to overcome my ingrained desire to make things too expensive by adding beautiful detail that most people never see. Anyway, I am trawling the internet for my ideal canoe design . The canoe of choice is a wood and canvas variety that hails from Canada where there are still some really good builders turning out some beauties. This form of construction is well suited to the lone builder, they require no “modern” materials such as epoxy and polyurethane, and they are wonderfully light and responsive boats.

A green wood and canvas canoe pulled up on shore along an Adirondack lake.

The second “idea” is hopefully more commercial. It is an answer to a problem that is our vintage Airstream caravan. These caravans are iconic Americana and ours is a “Safari Land Yacht”, the original idea was to re-fit/restore it for partly our own use and possibly hire out, but this looks a project too far. Finding a client for the job could be the way ahead and maybe the current working from home idea will become a trend and a funky American caravan could become a brilliant garden office. Spread the word everyone!