Clear Space, Coffee & Cake

Not much has happened to the inside of the Black Dog Workshop since #3 of this series, but a vast amount has happened to the outside of the workshop.


For years around the outside of the new workshop, there has been a vast array of ‘stuff’ that has been stored there, but now access is required to the space, the challenge of clearing the space fell to me…and my amazing girlfriend, Natalja.

An hour or two each day at the beginning of last week helped us get our foot in the door with the tidying up – and the weather was hot, too! My word did is that area a sun trap!

Me and the second skip

Firstly, we had to sort through a load of stuff that needed to be binned and quickly filled up the skip that was already half full, then we had some space to move pallets of other ‘stuff’ around to allow for a new skip to be delivered and filled. There was so much stuff, it was tough to know where to begin.

The back of the workshop

With this second skip filled in just a couple of hours, I had time to think what to do next. There was a really huge willow trunk in the way – that was going to have to move, then there was the back of the workshop! Gulp.

I don’t want the extractor inside the workshop, it would be too noisy, and as I say in the video below, I want the shop to be as quiet as possible – peaceful. Or at least as peaceful can be.

On Thursday, I spoke to Mind, the mental health charity and in particular to their project ‘Time to Change’ which challenges the discrimination of people with mental health problems in the workplace. They were interested in what the Black Dog Workshop will be doing and I’m looking forward to being involved with them as one of their Champions. For more information, please visit: and

As the workshop is centrally heated, I had Alex, my cousin’s hubby who happens to be a plumber, come in to disconnect the boiler and the radiators. Also, Simon the electrician came in to talk me through the electrical requirements for the new workshop.

Natalja and ‘her’ space, after clearing it.

On Saturday 17th, I was teaching a bowl turning lesson in my ‘old’ workshop and left Natalja to ‘do her thing’.

When I went to see her after the lesson had finished, I saw not only a full skip, but a fantastic expanse of concrete. She had worked her socks off! Thank you, darling!

Then, on Sunday 18th September, we both we at the remaining ‘stuff’ hammer and tongs. This episode starts where we finished clearing…

Original plan drawing

In the video, I mention the plan drawings for the new workshop. They were almost ready to make available for you to download, but I’ve decided to change the layout slightly, so they will be available in a few days time.

Big thanks to those of you who have said they would come and help on 1st and 2nd October: Rob Venus, Jim Overton, Dave Capper-Sandon, Nick Zammit and John Gilliland. Thanks, guys!

We’ll be putting the plans into reality over the two days, and I can’t wait to get started. Of course, there will be a video and photos of the day’s activities, and I am so grateful for the support – not just of these guys coming to help, but to everyone who is liking and sharing the Black Dog Workshop.

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