A visit to this one (stay with me) turned around a not-so-interesting day that had - before going there - been dominated by a necessary administrative task that involved lots of waiting.
Benbow Metalwork is tucked away on a side street in Walworth, very close to East Street Market. The pathway from the street is strewn with broken wooden fencing, lengths of steel and general junk. The workshop itself contains current jobs, bits and pieces of metal, old machinery and relics of the former forge which stood on this site - including the furnace, two anvils and a circular, buried-in-the-ground 'cooling' pool.
There's no flooring as such, just a ruddy coloured mud dust which has coated every surface and every thing. (Much more intense in hue than the flash photographs show.)
These tools on the back wall fascinated me. They are redundant now but some of them would have been used in the making and repairing of 'barrow' wheels for the stalls at the nearby market. The circular instruments on the left are called 'travellers' and were used for measuring the circumference of the barrow wheels.
I think it would be great to be in possession of some practical skills of the kind to justify one's own workshop and furnish it with a solid, high work bench with a vice attached and a chest of tools. For now though I will satisfy my interest by nosing around the workshops of others.
I know people who would very much like a shed of their own: a place to work, think, write or sit. One lucky fellow in our home who was given this summer house for his birthday has set it up as a science lab/chocolate pantry/hideout/office.
There's a bit of finishing off to do - a coat of paint and a few bits and bobs inside to make it feel homely -but I must say that I really, really like it and indeed may have to borrow it for myself. For work related things of course.
Almost feeling sick and in need of some fruit, water or at least a plate of steamed vegetables. All on account of the quantities of cake batter that have been mixed here recently.
Y'see there's been a birthday in this house and - as is the norm in our family - there's never just one birthday related event to be catered for. This particular celebration required three: the family do, the other one and then the extra birthday treat type outing. So three cakes. And then of course there was the experimental cooking happening with left-over biscuit mix/brownie batter. I don't know how to spell how I feel after visualising that one.
So am I over compensating for something? Probably. Showing my love through baked goods? It appears that way. Whatever - all ended well, the day was enjoyed and without too many tears, but I now have tummy ache and am looking for a good home for the last of the brownies.
This photograph below shows eight candles on a very tiny cake. By this stage we all - birthday boy included - couldn't really look at anything sweet or baked and this suggestion of birthday-ness was divided into three little morsels for those who decided to go for it.