Framebuilder in lockdown

We’ve all seen too many Hollywood films, and it feels like the end of the world.

I got a tube order in with Reynolds in the last fifteen minutes before their courier arrived to send out the last orders and the entire company retreated to their homes, and it feels like the end of the world.

My little workshop just has me in it mostly, and I definitely can’t work from home (my cat is crazy and would probably try and lick the flux.) I’m pedalling in to work every morning, slowly, so as to soak in the quiet calm streets, the empty roads, and I can hear the birds drowned out normally by the wild Bristol traffic. I’m enjoying that.

I’ve not been able to put the radio on though. I often listen to Radio 4 when I get bored of playing my music. I like the chuntering voices in the background, the quiet rhythm of the day swinging through the morning news, women’s hour, the book, the comedy, the world at one, the afternoon blah and the signal for hometime of the end of the news. But, like a lot of folk I’m sure, I’ve been filled with the roaring anxiety of endless Covid nineteen analysis, reports, and questioning. I’ve been feeling the economy burning out to embers with every passing day, and I can’t listen to that any more, feeling like I’m wallowing in the cold ashes of recession and death. It feels like the end of the world.

So I’ve been settling my spirit by just being in the quiet. Punctuated by the grinder or sander or lathe, or some filing or whatever, the silence is restoring my little workshop to a calm little sanctuary from the crazy. I’ve got plenty of tea bags, I’ve got enough tubes, enough gas and brass. Hopefully everything’s going to be ok. I feel deeply privileged that people want me to build bikes for them still. Bikes are sacred freedom vehicles to me, and I know that they mean a great deal to all my customers. It’s a privilege to be able to keep working to make them happen even now.