I have started to receive a number of e mails and phone calls asking “What has happened to your blog?”. The answer is quite simple: “I’ve been doing other things!”. “Like what?”, you might ask. Three initiatives have consumed my time and energy since the last post (DAY 446: ANCHORS AND CHAINS). These are 1. Transforming the garage (building) 2. Transforming Chairs (refurbishing) 3. Transforming Mossop Hall (painting).
Projects inspire me. Driven by the wisdom of the writer to the Proverbs: “Where there is no vision, the people perish”, I need to return to my commitment on transformation. At Salty Print my buy line for the work not only included “Transforming Paper, People and Places” but also our statement of intent. We promoted “project development, skills transfer and poverty relief” as key signposts to the success of Salty Print. I was and still am passionate about “Employment creation … not sheltered employment”.
So I needed to return to my roots. Whilst in the wilderness, I have been 1. building a Team 2. managing Projects and 3. calling Closure. The secret of (semi) retirement is to work on a plan that addresses the question of “retirement to” rather than “retirement from”.
I have missed the connectivity and “hands on engagement” with artisans and people willing to work. That’s always been the imprint of Salty Print on my life. The decision to transform the garage and store room at our home has taken a long time to implement. Enter Thomas and Alex. They are wonderful workers and make a great team.
In consultation with the architect and engineers we moved the garage door, tiled floors and walls, fitted new doors, windows and ceilings, power points and lighting. Finishing always takes time. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint does to a tired property.
We were on a roll. With a borrowed sanding machine, we refurbished 50 of the old Homberg Steel chairs and gave them a couple of coats of varnish. Thanks to my weekly Bible Study (we have been studying a book a week – with just four books to go) I now have a text (only four words each) for the back of each chair. All the books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation will be represented on 66 chairs. The balance (still using only four words) will come from the Hymn Books. This project is still work in progress.
The painting of the inside of Mossop Hall has been long overdue. You have to be a magician with rollers, brushes, paint and ladders to allow the regular weekly users of the property uninterrupted access.
Happily we are a long way down the track. I am ready to call closure. The time has arrived for me to emerge out of the wilderness of repairs and maintenance and return to the world of words and pictures.
We all know that during this window of electronic shut down of http://www.markhovdenstephenson.wordpress.com – the world has been busy. We’ve seen political changes, exits, Olympics, wars and earthquakes .. and still life goes on.
Building the team, managing the projects and calling closure are all part of living life to the full. We move on and meet the future with hope and anticipation. Thank you for your patience. Feel free to respond to the blogs. It certainly keeps the conversation going!