It’s been a pretty rough week just gone and one I would like to forget pretty quickly.

I am no stranger to pain, for example when I was a young teenager we used to have a big rope swing that all the towns kids used to play on. Down by the harbour are some low cliffs with big trees. Some bright spark nicked a 3″ rope from the docks and strung it up in one of the trees creating the mother of all tree swings as it reached out over an extremely steep slope with a fifty foot drop below. We put a couple of hugh knots in the rope and one fellow would jump up onto the highest one and swing out, on his return another foolhardy fellow, in this case me, would grab the bottom knot and swing out at arms length. With a good push this put you into space, or at least that’s how it felt. On the second swing outwards from terra firma we got into a spin and once we got out towards the horizontal I was launched into the aforementioned space. Back then my head was probably the heaviest part of me (no longer sadly) and not unlike a shuttlecock i tumbled towards the ground head first. After about twenty five or thirty feet, with my arms outstretched I plugged myself hands and face first directly and neatly into the ground ultimately being stopped by my face before the rest of me followed, not surprisingly I was knocked out cold.

Some time later as i regained my whits I noticed some kids at the top of the hill being very amused and some others looking on in horror. Remember this was a time when it would have been Ok to hurl abuse at me for being so feckless. Nobody came to help and in my dazed state i didn’t really know what was going on so I got up, wiped the blood and mud from my face as best i could, climbed back up the hill past the onlooking crowd and threw a leg over my bike in order to go home. As i pushed into the road and attempted to steer something went wrong and I face planted into the road over the handlebars. When I got back up i noticed both arms were broken and the right one was about six inches shorter than it had been earlier and had a huge bump in the middle. Unperturbed I picked up my bike and pushed it way from the scene. Apparently I got about half a mile before I collapsed and passed out in pain. Next thing I new I was surrounded by police who had been looking for a bunch of troublesome kids before finding me all busted up. Turns out I completely snapped my right arm in two and smashed one bone in my left as well as grinding a lot of skin of my face and other extremities. I ended up with both arms in plaster for six weeks, then just for good measure I unset the right arm again even though it was in plaster and had to go back to hospital and have it re-broken in order to straighten it our.

Overall this was one of the more painful experiences I have had. However getting high-sided on a very large bike at over 70mph was up there too, So was the time I hit three cars at over 60mph before landing full weight on my chin, ripping the skin off it and smashing a whole bunch of teeth. This week some of that came home to roost. A tooth, most likely damaged from some silly escapade or other had died and developed a massive abscess which failed to make itself known to be before quite literally blowing up in my face. I ignored it for a couple of days, as best I could, but eventually it bought me to my knees howling in pain and floods of tears. When I did eventually get to the dentist begging for needles it took eight to ten injections before the pain subsided. Out came the tooth along with a small bucket of horrors but not before I came off the bench at least three times. Another couple of hours of that pain and I would have taken a header off a high spot.

Be that as it may business goes on and for the self employed there is no choice but to keep on working and soldier on through. Sorry if you got a hold of me this week and I was a little more grumpy than usual.

Anyway I did manage to get some work done between popping pills and swilling crap out of my new cavity. A new article on carving tools, their use and selection.

Graham’s Guide to Selecting and Using Carving Tools

This was first done in about 2008 but is now all new.

I also managed to secure an exciting new shipment of yamadori, 30-40 trees in total I think. Should be here next week, stay tuned!