I still remember my Dad and his mates having a chuckle when I reached for the Iced VoVos after being asked to fetch him a biscuit. As a boy of 8, I had no idea that he was talking about a wooden joining biscuit (or even what the devil a joining biscuit was). As a young lad, I was more interested in the pink bikkies anyway, but I loved the feeling of hanging out in Dad’s workshop with all his mates as they drank XXXX Bitter and ran their hands over the grooves of Dad’s latest carpentry project. In that sweltering South East Queensland shed I got my first taste of what was to become a lifelong undertaking – Woodwork.
From those days as a boy in the backyard with the old bloke and his mates, to a man creating custom wooden furniture from a high-end store in Brisbane, I might say I’ve come a long way. To be fair, I’d have to say I’ve come a lot further because now I’ve retired from forging bespoke pieces for the wealthy, and I now create whatever the devil I like for the locals at the markets. Most of my custom work these days involves building pint-sized wooden furniture for my granddaughter’s dolls. Let me tell you, there is no customer more appreciative than a 4-year-old girl and her dolls.
I’ve had a love affair with wood for 40 years, but there is one other love in my life that predates my obsession with wood; My wife Jacqui. ‘Jacq attack’ is the tongue to my groove and the primer to my paint. She is the bearer of cuppas right on the dot of 10:30 am when I’ve lost track of time honing the edge of my plane iron. Jacqui has been the solid mahogany in my life since we were teenagers at Brisbane state Highschool. We share 3 grown-up children, 4 grandchildren (and counting), a love of the beach, and our cattle dog named Bevel. As a pup, he would climb around in the workshop looking for a place to sleep, he’d spend more time on the wood than the bevel did, so it was the only fitting name.
While my days are a little more carefree now that I’m retired, I still love the feeling of being in my backyard shed working on my carpentry projects just like my Dad did all those years ago. Oh, and I still prefer Iced VoVos to any other kind of biscuit.