Actually, I've been back for a little over a week. It's been a busy week, however, with new orders and even, for a while an apparent sale of a lying press, after responding to an enquiry from the United Arab Emirates. The latter unfortunately did not materialize which caused a little disappointment, but this was compensated for by the confirmation of an order for a teak and concrete outdoor dining table and benches. It's a large table (10' x 5'), and the concrete is in the form of panels with an exposed aggregate finish.
Today I'll be on my bike heading to West Wind in Sidney to check out the teak supplies and arrange for shipping. (Why bike? Because a) Seniors travel free on BC ferries on weekdays (not, however, bicycles, even old ones. This is a strange policy. Bikes take up almost no space, are a desirable substitute for a car, and need encouraging....)*. Also Greg and I spent yesterday afternoon tearing the rusting box from my aging Toyota pick-up, in preparation for the building and installation of a nice new wooden flat-deck with removable sides. The downside is that until this is done, I have no truck.
Unfortunately the removal of the box has revealed some mechanical deficiencies, the most worrying being a broken leaf spring, rusted shocks, and corroded brake lines. (Not that Wolfgang Temmel, who works on the truck when serious mechanical work is necessary, didn't warn me about the broken spring some time ago - reinforcing the news with horror stories about errant broken leaves engaging themselves with wheel and tire at inconvenient times).
For now, that's it. I've broken the ice, made an entry, and now have two visitors due in the shop ("Can my teak table be turned into a chest?" "My child has broken our antique rocking chair which has been in the family for generations. Can it be repaired?". I suspect the answers will be No and Yes. We'll see. And then off to the noon ferry.
* This is more complicated than I thought. Returning from Swartz Bay via the ferry to Fulford Harbour, I produced my "Experience Card", which entitles me to a discount on the regular Gulf Islands fares. The attendant in the ticket booth told me that this also entitled my bicycle to travel free. Hooray! Not so fast there, though. Since (as above) I'm a "senior", and travel free on weekdays, I am not in fact "using" my Experience Card. If I'm not using my card, then my bicycle does not qualify for free passage, and I must pay the regular bicycle tariff of $2.00. Both the ticket agent and the management rep in the BC Ferries office agreed that this was inconsistent, but the computer is programmed this way, and sorry, but nothing we can do.
I will write a letter, though.