“Heart of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men,” the song says. I don’t know whether our amazing builder James Pollard has a heart of oak but he’s certainly got a heart the size of a house.
He’s just crafted a custom-made chopping block for my new larder and although I can’t say it was a labour of love (his wife would kill me) it’s certainly a gesture of extreme friendship. Just look at this:
He made it from oak offcuts in his spare time but if you added up all the hours he worked it would probably total three full days – and the oak alone would have cost a couple of hundred quid. James says if anyone want to commission another, Him Outdoors will have to help out next time!
The block is so big and so heavy it took two men to put it in position. It’s actually bigger than my butcher’s block and it’s a thing of beauty. I’m touched beyond words that James made this for me.
The pictures don’t do it justice. I think it’ll become a family heirloom as it’ll certainly outlast me. Thank you, James. You’re a star.
Addendum: I decided it was far too beautiful for the larder and swapped it for the old butcher’s block. James’s creation is now in the kitchen so I can admire it all the time.
It’s a pleasure to work with.
What a fabulous chopping block, Linda. James has done a wonderful job and it looks superb. ‘Heart of Oak’ is the Royal Navy’s marching song and epitomises the RN of the 18th & 19th centuries. ‘Didn’t the Navy sail everywhere?’ I hear you asking. ‘Yes-ish,’ I say; ‘But when they’d got there a ship would disembark a Naval brigade (or indeed the entire Royal Naval Division in WW1) which would march to where the trouble was, sort it out, and then march back.’
Brings back memories of every morning at Dartmouth, with the guard marching on to the Royal Marine band playing ‘Heart of Oak’, immediately followed by the Royal Marines’ marching song, ‘A Life on the Ocean Wave’.
Brings a lump to the throat – but not so much that one can’t tuck in to the last recipe!!
I know, it’s so good I’m considering moving it into the kitchen so I can admire it all the time! Glad it brings back happy memories. “Steady, boys, steady!”
That is really wonderful: you’ll use it for ever and so will generations to come. Um…. I hope you never consider moving, though. It could be a bit difficult….
It is beautiful, isn’t it? So much craft and care went into making it. And I never want to move house ever again!
Gorgeous – so lovely that I’d probably be scared of using it!
Oh, it’ll get a lot of use! It’ll be battle-scarred in no time.
Dear Mrs P, most certainly a labour of love……from both of us. Glad you love it. We accept payment in food….lots and lots of food and a ginger beer or 3 and maybe some of your lovely coffee too!!!!! Lots love the other Mrs P
I said to James this morning that’s a lifetime of hot meals I owe you! Feel free to call in that particular debt any time. Send me diary dates! Much love from us. xxx