Welcome to my blog. I considered calling it ‘Practical Michael’, but then my friend Paul suggested the silly pun you see above, and I couldn’t resist.
As well as making me smile, it offers a neat summary of the kinds of things I’ll be writing about.
I’m a skinny, city man. I do know which end of a hammer is up (do hammers have ‘up’?), but not a whole lot more. Once, when I was travelling, I completed a short course on straw bale construction, but it was conducted entirely in Spanish, so I don’t recommend you hire me to build your straw bale home.
I’m setting out to learn hand skills and, essentially, I’m starting from scratch.
In the course of writing articles about sustainable living, I’ve met many vibrant people and thought often about what I need to live fairly and well – not just fairly well. So far as I can tell, there’s beauty in crafting a simple, elegant life that enlarges others, rather than crowding them out. I want to put that to the test, away from my laptop.
From the experiences I’ve had so far, I’ve also come to believe there’s wisdom and joy to be gained in learning to make things, and in reflecting on making things. To me, at this early, incompetent stage, there is pleasure even in the crooked, first saw cut. Just trying is bewitching.
I’ll spend time with handy people, learn some of their skills and listen to their words. Then I’ll share those things with you. I’ll also read interesting books and tell you about them, and occasionally, offer links to other people’s writing.