“That’s all right!”

I had just finished dinner at a local hostelry the other night with my friend Haydn, when a young woman he knew spotted him and came across to join us. After the introductions, Haydn asked “So what have you been up to Nelly?”

Nelly informed us she’d been revamping her kitchen and proudly scrolled through numerous pictures on her ‘phone to show us the results. Nelly had cut some old weathered fence palings at 45° and glued them in a chevron pattern onto the fronts of her kitchen cupboard doors and drawers.

She had done it all very neatly and Haydn and I nodded approvingly and congratulated her on a job well done.

Haydn said “Jack does a bit of woodwork you know.” I sighed a long sigh. “Do you have a picture of that chest you can show Nelly?” he quizzed, as he pushed against the table and rocked back in his chair, shoulders already heaving with laughter.

As it happened, I did, so I begrudgingly produced my ‘phone and scrolled to a picture of a recently made chest of drawers and extended the ‘phone across the table to Nelly.

“Oh that’s all right!” said Nelly, admiring the chest. “I sometimes fix up old shit too.”

Jack Plane


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Distractions and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to “That’s all right!”

  1. Les Elsie says:

    Hilarious, to say the least. I’ve faced similar situations on more than a few occasions but none so amusing. I can’t imagine what I would have said in return.


  2. Notomacker says:

    The use of fence palings reminds me of the trend in the 1970s of using ‘barn wood’ essentially reusing the weathered pine siding of timberframed buildings as interior finish. A lot of old structures didn’t survive very long after they were stripped of their exterior coverings. Nelly here will learn the hard lesson that cabinets that require a vacuum cleaner and compressed air to get cleaned are not practical in kitchens as they look in photo shoots. Everything old gets new again.


  3. Jim Pallas says:

    That will go down as a classic for sure. I presume you did not have a mouthful of your after dinner drink when the comment was made. It would have made an even greater tale.


  4. Les Elsie says:

    On re-reading the post, was Nelly talking about you or the chest?


  5. dtugboat says:

    “Out of the mouth of babes”


  6. Mihai Radu says:

    Fashion comes, fashion goes. Art is immortal.


  7. RobinWire says:

    Is it a compliment that she thought it was genuine old polished up and not new?


  8. Andrew nolan says:

    Beauuuuuudy mate


  9. Jeremy says:

    In a world where people are so disconnected from making things, and assembling IKEA items makes one a handyman, I suspect that that your work as an original piece must be as inconceivable as your ‘phone would be to an 18th century person on the street.


  10. D.B. Laney says:

    Typically, in these kind of situations, insult is added to injury when I’m asked if I would like to provide a “bid” on a piece of furniture that someone has seen in the IKEA (or some other KD furniture) catalog. The “salting” of the wound usually continues with the suggestion that my pricing will likely be very competitive because I spend my time doing this stuff for love, not money.


    • Jack Plane says:

      On the rare occasion someone discovers the existence of my workshop, I hear comments like “Now I know where to come when I want a coffee table/bedside cabinets/entertainment unit”.

      My usual response is “I couldn’t buy the requisite timber for the price you’d pay for a coffee table/bedside cabinets/entertainment unit in the high street. And anyway, I don’t have a table saw or biscuit thingy for working with sheet goods”.

      If they press me further, I tell them I only make copies of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century furniture, which normally confounds them. One man asked “When was that”?



  11. Daniel says:

    Here in the States, dear Nelly would have been working with pallets…we seem to get such a warm feeling in our hearts by ‘repurposing’ or ‘upcycling’ marginal ugly timber into particularly ugly coffee tables and such.


  12. diceloader says:

    Whenever I feel melancholy, I know I can come and re-read this entry and smile.


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