The joy of learning new things

You can teach an old dog new tricks, you can! At least, I hope to learn some new techniques later this morning, when I venture over to the Men’s Shed to try to finesse a couple of pine shelves that will supplement our bookcase. The pine planks are fine, but the other shelves in the unit have a nicely chamfered bevel edge at the front. Apparently that’s the sort of thing a router is meant to do.

I saw the results of a router in action the other day, as I admired the handiwork involved in creating a bespoke campervan out of a huge horse box. The router put a discrete groove into the edge of the kitchen unit, so that a vinyl edging strip could be gently pushed into it, and held in place, thereby finishing off the job. The gentleman who’d done the work had also, some years ago, shown me how an angle grinder works. Now that’s a machine you want to approach with utmost respect! I know where my grinder is, but I’ve stored it rather inconveniently out of reach, so that I’m not tempted too often to use it!

Anyway, I shall gather up my pine boards and the example shelf and hie myself away to the Men’s Shed for some advice and instruction in this sort of woodworking. And I expect to learn something new. It’s shocking, I suppose, that it’s taken me nearly a lifetime to engage with the woodworking router, but as they say, it’s never too late to learn.

Now if only there was something, some skill that I could share, as that would be a different sort of joy. I find such fun in sharing my basic plumbing capacity (it would be a stretch to call this facility a ‘skill’) with our beloved neighbours, but I’m not much blessed in the construction of things. I can, I think I can, build sentences through my dancing fingers. But that’s not an easily exportable skill. No, I shall doubtless have to be happy in learning, rather than in teaching, today.

And I shall try to remember that simple humility in learning, and a spell of social listening, can elicit a very special kind of joy.

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