Letterpress set-ups don’t respond well to being moved. The cabinets and the type weigh a ton and over the years any press shop will accumulate boxes of things that will one day “come-in”. But I’ve now moved from my cosy Bradford cellar into large Norfolk garage. Never mind that the move nearly killed me I’ve ended up with lots more desired space. I no longer have to perform ballet movements between cabinets and boxes of things that will “come-in”.
Oh but it’s freezing! The cruel zyphers sweep in from the North Sea unremitingly. The morning frost sticks to my overcoat and it’s not even winter yet.
Setting type and using the hand press is a pretty stationary affair. Hence, the only exercise my body gets is restriced to my fingers and shoulders. I now dress like a Russian lumberjack. Two pairs of socks and fleece-lined wellingtons. A hat pulled down over my ears and some fingerless gloves. I’ve lost much of my sexual appeal.
The increased space means the garage has a central area of cabinets. Every fifteen minutes or so I begin a few circuits around the island in an attempt to regain some body heat. To an outsider peering in from the outside it would look like someone doing a Pythonesque silly walk. Knees raised up, arms outstretching, shoulders swinging from side to side. I’ve called these movements “Mitsubuti”. Perhaps if I take them up to combat speed they’ll be useful the next time I get mugged.
But the printing continues. Aside from the heat I’ve got lots more useful space to gather more things that will come-in. The sound system I’ve rigged up is great and there some kind of birds beneffiting from the paltry heat rising up into the roof from my radiator.