A Clean, Well Lighted Place

At least I thought it was clean until I spotted that bird turd on the window in the picture. I admit to a partiality towards Hemingway, always have, and his greater acceptance is coming back around again you can believe me. So I give credit where it’s due for the title of my latest article on the workshop here in the North of Holland just behind the sea dike.

Three lights outline the air space above the place where the workbench will stand by this time next week I am sure of it.

Today while insulating the top up there the lights that I had ordered came out of Finland in the post so I dropped all that work and went to installing them right away.
Putting lights in was so dramatic that I went and got one for the conjoining wing of the bench room.

A florescent lamp gives a light of another character.
A fluorescent lamp gives a light of another character.

With all this light in there the space is getting a welcoming feel to it already and soon it wont matter to me in the least that at 4:00 PM it’s dark outside.

High watt workshop lights in.
High watt workshop lights in.


Ernest DuBois



  1. Hi Graeme,
    Really it’s no secret, once the space is in order I will be doing more cabinet making like I was prior to moving out to this place. I work then with a healthy mix of both basic, powerful and reliable machinery and fine hand tools instead of doing everything powered only on my bowel of Wheatabix, what the Americans call Wheaties, in the morning. I guess there is a certain logic to not giving much emphasis on that work up till now since it has been somewhat mothballed, my workbench standing next to my bed, machines in the pantry here at the house. By the weekend it should be operational if not completely done.


  2. Thanks Ernest, that’s one fancy workshop you’ll be for having then. By the way, I like how you’ve angled the frame around the windows to let in more light. Well we have Weet-bix and Wheaties, two very different things the first are suitable for models of Stonehenge but a bowl of either is said to be good for the bowel (I’m never sure if you have a quirky sense of humour or things get lost in translation).

  3. Originally I came to know Weet-bix when I was living in Australia and then re-discovered the breakfast product on the shelf of my local supermarket after moving to Holland, only here the name has been changed to Wheatabix, true even if it sounds like something I could make up. With that in front of my face I thought my earlier recollection that it was Weet-bix was just wrong though I continued calling it that in the face contradictory evidence. Well, now, and in real time you seem to have shed light on this quandry I have had these past years and as you can see, living in a non-English speaking world has other consequences for my use and choices of words which I should probably attend to though I’m glad to know that some of the puns and synonyms, (near)homonyms and other stuff sometimes masks my sloppiness.

    I don’t know what a fancy workshop is to you. I have tried to keep mine simple in concept and build it in a way that is maybe not the most expedient but has something to say about how building can be done and also how it is done on a standard level and, in light of a larger context, what that has to say to someone looking in on my process. Turning the sides of the window openings out makes a huge difference in the amount of light coming in.


  4. Probably to do with patents and copyrights, similar product, different company. Weet-bix was made by Sanitarium just down the road in Christchurch until the big quake. With that Ozzie connection you may recall the rivalry between Marmite (Sanitarium) and Vegemite (Kraft) much the same diff.
    Ouch, ‘fancy’ is a compliment although from a red-neck Ozzie it might mean something else. Still, a an unlined tin shed is the norm, although a plywood lining is more common now to meet wall bracing requirements. Right now a tin shed with a dirt floor would be an improvement and what I should do is take a leaf out of your book and start building. Thank you for carrying us along on your journey.
    Cheers, Graeme

  5. Humm, Here is my take on these condiments and breakfast items, you correct me if you think I am off track. Wait wait, I think you got me wrong on fancy workshop. Please Graeme, let me spell it out. If I am offended or disagree with your’s or anybody else’s comment here I will for sure make it obvious by beginning to respond with something like, “I disagree…”, or “you don’t understand” or something equivalent, otherwise I am as you say just being blunt and you should pay no attention to it. Are you a Kiwi or Australian then? I am confused.
    So, Marmite and Weet-bix are both traditional products of the English motherland brought to these South Pacific colonial territories by immigrants. Vegemite is the Australianized version of Marmite. I have a big jar of Marmite on my shelf only because Vegemite is not so easy to get a hold of in Holland. I know nothing of the origins or status of the Kraft company but my guess is it has at some point acquired control of the original makers of Vegemite. That may have happened sometime in the mid-eighties around the time of the first Australia hype in connection with Allen Bond’s winning of the World Cup.
    You’re not going anywhere, are you?


  6. You may well be right in terms of origin, I have no idea about Kraft foods being a Marmite convert (you know, this is as divisive as religion and politics for some people).
    As you have asked, I am 6th generation kiwi with one of my tipuna having been sort of ship-wrecked in 1828 (they sunk themselves in a harbour). The crew moved into a local Maori village, they sowed their seed and scattered, and the rest is history.

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