In spite of the last month’s disorder, mess and apparent randomness, there are emerging patterns. I pull my bike out of the hallway and round the corner up Isabella Road, nod and smile to the school caretaker having a fag outside the gates, squeeze down the side of the cars backed up along Urswick road, and pull in by the Mother’s square to jump off and walk across the road to see where things have got to in the shop.
The barbers smile sympathetically and try to reassure me that it’s ‘really coming along now’. I haul any newly arrived boxes into the store room. Julia tells me what a mess the wood on the shop front is but she’ll do her best with some more sanding and priming. Dave looks at me gravely and says it may all take a bit longer. Give or take a few increases and decreases, it’s a rhythm that’s acquired a familiarity now.
No more painting, filling, sawing or wiring. Yesterday we laid out shelves, pegs, screws and instructions and slotted them altogether to create a structured new home for the yarn. Verticals were followed by horizontals which were followed by chunky little metal wheels to keep things rolling. And as we slotted and fitted, Greg fixed up the wooden tracks, perfectly matched as exact opposites of the ones on the back of each display box, so that each slots into place with a pleasing solidness. Each bit going up as planned in a deliberate order, with place and fit precisely defined.
And so as I rounded the corner back home in the evening, 10 hours after I left it in the morning, complete with the aches, bruises and broken nails of an unskilled workman, I felt the most wonderful relief and warmth about where I’d got to – like a fugue finally conceding its satisfying close.
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