Today did not get off to a leisurely start, as I had promised Spencer his belated birthday breakfast. (There was just too much stuff going on when Flynn was here and I didn’t do it then.) So I was very busy for a while, making crêpes and cooking eggs and so forth. It was worth it though—the breakfast was a hit, and I had enough ham-and-swiss-cheese crêpes left over for Walter and Jasper to have some for lunch.
Jasper and I also had school to do, and we had to finish the day’s work this morning, as we had a field trip planned for the afternoon. Jasper has wanted all summer to set up a backyard blacksmith’s forge, and in fact we got him some smithing supplies for his birthday in April. But it’s been a busy summer, and we didn’t want him jumping into it without talking to an expert first, so this afternoon I took him to visit “Shadowhawk,” the blacksmith we’ve been watching at various Renaissance Faires and other events for many years now.
It was over an hour’s drive up to the forge, but a stunningly beautiful one through green pastures and fields. When we got there, we talked and watched Shadowhawk work for a couple of hours. As I suspected, there is no “quick-and-easy” way to master smithing. Acquiring a forge doesn’t teach you anything, and YouTube is virtually useless unless you already have experience. The only way to learn practical skills is by doing them, preferably guided by someone who knows what he’s doing. So, we are going to see if we can swing it for Jasper to take Shadowhawk’s basic blacksmithing class. That should help him decide if he really loves doing it enough to invest in a forge.
Right as we were getting ready to leave, Lady Shadowhawk arrived so I at least got to say hello to her. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.