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Another month passes by, and there’s plenty of news to write about, but not so much time to do the writing! The last few weeks I have been away in Japan, combining work and a family holiday.

The work was route setting for the IFSC Bouldering World Cup round in Hachioji, Tokyo. I spent a very busy week working with a great team of setters to produce what might have been one of my favourite competitions ever (definitely in the top 2 anyway). Below is a link to the finals footage – the Japanese don’t hold back when it comes to climbing competitions (especially as climbing will be a new sport for the 2020 Olympic Games which will be held in Tokyo), and the amount of effort they put into making this competition truly great really shows.

After the competition I met back up with my family at Mount Fuji where we spent a few days walking and having a fun, chilled out time.

Mount Fuji

From Fujisan we travelled to Kyoto on the Shinkansen bullet train and had a few more days exploring before a final dash back to Tokyo and then home. The whole Japanese experience was amazing, and worthy of several blog posts of its own. It was so nice and refreshing to witness the care, consideration and passion the Japanese have for their work, people and country.

Before we left for our trip I managed to finish off a few jobs, including a turning commission for some local silversmiths who needed a plinth for a trophy…. but it turns out it was quite some trophy! I suppose if you win a trans-pacific yacht race you want a fairly cool prize, and this trophy is pretty amazing.

St Davids Lighthouse trophy

I also had some final kitchen cabinets to make, and since we got back from our jollies I have also been turning a load of breakfast bowls which are destined for the Peak District Visitors Centre shop in Castleton. If you want some nice red oak bowls to eat from then they now have a load in stock – or you can email me and buy some direct!

One of the last big units for the kitchen...
Red oak breakfast bowls

With a lot of the bigger pieces in the workshop finally getting shifted out, and now have space for finishing off a load of smaller jobs that have been waiting. In particular, I have been looking forward to finishing off my chair – a double bow-backed Windsor chair destined for a spot next to the log burner in my house. Bring on the long winter evenings sitting in this beauty! The only problem is that it is so comfy that I keep ‘checking it's ok’ and sitting down in it when I should be finishing it off… Mind you, considering where its being assembled, who can blame me?!?

Double bow back windsor chair getting assembled in the sun - Herbert the dog is not as excited by this as me, obviously!

I’ve really enjoyed the process of making this chair, and I think there might be a few more being made once the word gets out!

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