A Cinderella Story

Whilst wandering about a local Auction and Antiques Fair, I stumbled across four chairs, rather unloved and sulking at the back of the room.

They are called Penny Seats, made around a century ago by wood turners, who made the seat out of one piece of elm wood, how cool is that? Don’t do that any more, more’s the pity.

They were rather sad specimens, years of being lent backwards at the table (that’s what teenagers do) every joint wobbly and about to come apart. A really sorry lot (pardon the pun). They languished at the back of the Auction Room, all covered in old varnish, dark and dirty, but I had a big plan for them, in fact a Cinderella story.

I had never bid in an auction before, so was very excited hoping I didn’t buy something obscure, just because I needed to scratch my nose. I’ve been watching too many films where the nod of the head bought a hugely expensive item. That’s not true by the way, you are given a paddle with a number on it, and the auctioneer takes a note of the number, not you just winking! So I bid for them, and thankfully no one else was the least bit interested, and won them, and took them home. (You have to be mindful of how you are going to get your winning item home, luckily the chairs fitted, albeit rather snugly, in the back of my Mini.)

With their magnificent seats, I saw a great writing opportunity – but I’d never written on wood before.

Kevin sanded them, glued them, and sanded them again, till they were as smooth as silk. I meanwhile was pondering what could I put on them that had a long lasting quality, that wouldn’t go out of fashion? Then inspiration struck, I could write the words I’d written on my particleboard the previous summer. Mr William Shakespeare had done it again! But this was a whole different ball game. With challenges of its own. Writing in the round requires lots of practice, precision and perseverance. Got my acrylic FW ink out, and wrote on some paper, and then some more paper, using my trusty Automatic pen. Measured again. And again. Re-sanded, another light varnish, then it was down to me.

Needed to do a walk round, another draft, as once I’d put the pen to wood, there was no going back. So out with my trusty pen and wham, did all four without a breath, you calligraphers out there know you sometimes just have to go for it. And so I just went for it.

A gentle sanding, and don’t they look a picture?

My friend Jules said I’m looking for chairs that are a bit different and would like six of them.

Boy, did that give me a search, up and down, round and round, but I found two more, and repeated the recipe.

She now is the owner of some very special chairs. And I am proud to say, those are mine.

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