Monday, 16 August 2010

The Knife man cometh

You can hear his signature tune streets away. It is the third monday of the month and the week following the monthly market. The knife man cometh. I cant describe the whistle sound that heralds his arrival, but it is similar to pan pipes. This is tradition and something that is fast disappearing here in Portugal. We will soon be mourning its loss like so much other artesanal ( craft ). Jao is apontador de facas ( knife sharpener ). He travels around the local area on his bespoke bicycle/ steel grinder. His customised bike has a grinding stone on it and he peddles to make the stone wheel go round. He pulls up outside Casa Rosada, puts a stabilizer on his bike. I give him my knives wrapped up in a tea towel , he rests them on the neighbours windowsill, cf picture above climbs back on his bike, starts peddling and giving my blades a new lease of life - sorry Ricardo but all manner of things go on when you are away!!! Anyway - amazing, so simple and so reassuring that this kind of craftmanship is still alive - well for the time being.

Thought for today:

Sharp as a knife, bright as a button

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