On Friday, I headed over to my parents and walked into my father’s art studio to check out what he was up to. He had been watching YouTube videos on how to do book binding and was on a roll with creating these for himself. As an artist, he had a lot of loose leaf papers lying about so he used these new skills to create himself some sketch pads and note pads using materials he had collected over the years.
He asked me whether I wanted a notebook and I exclaimed: “Of course!” Contrary to belief, I still write my notes by hand and having a custom made note pad as well as spending time with my father in his cosy studio would be something that I would treasure.
Much of my appetite for continual and lifelong learning has stemmed from my father who, for as long as I could remember, had this knack of creating things out of material that was lying about. He has this ability to be able to invent, create and make things with his hands.
As someone who grew up poor in Crete after the war, he didn’t finish high school. In fact, school was the last place he wanted to be. He was spotted by someone from the New York School of Arts as a talent and offered a free scholarship to attend to undertake a course in art. The irony is not lost on me that he could have been one those people in that show, Mad Men. However, he was denied this by strict parents who wanted him to be a doctor or a priest. As a result, he ran away by joining the Merchant Navy and jumped ship when they landed in Australia. He then spent most of his life working and managing the roughest pubs in Melbourne, worked in his own business as a signwriter (but automation in the sign writing industry meant a death knell for his business) and throughout his life, was a continual learner.
He taught himself how to read and write Spanish, read music, play flamenco guitar and grow varieties of tomatoes. He speaks three languages fluently and in recent years, I have taught him how to use the internet which has given him access to a whole world of resources where he now happily spends his days creating things which he loves, reading classics in the original Spanish or Greek.
My visits to my parents every week is an educational experience because I always end up coming home inspired and enlightened with all things related to art, history, philosophy and much more.
Here are the tweets…
(I wanted to place them in this blog so they didn’t get lost in the Twittersphere. After all, this is going to be a memory for me so I claim it on my own space and not a social networks…)
Spending the morning doing some home made book binding with dad. He’s making me my own note book! I picked out the material that will be it’s cover…can’t wait to see how this turns out. He learned skill from YouTube videos and he’s on a roll! pic.twitter.com/Bp6VYWaom8
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) February 14, 2019
Here’s the final product! pic.twitter.com/b2tc5wXeFQ
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) February 16, 2019