“The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted.”
Self reliant , Australian citizen “Tooth” earns a living on the streets, selling woollen scarves that he makes on his loom. He doesn’t have a permanent domicile.
He was denied renewal of his Australian teacher license in 2013 because of working in the UK for 27 years teaching year 13 (A levels. ) They said he was no longer qualified to teach in his home country.
Now he travels all over Australia making and selling scarves on the street, some from hand spun and hand dyed wool. He can custom make, from Cleckheaton colour numbers.
Each brand of wool is different, and all are hand made, so every item is unique. He also recites classic Australian poetry for free, like the bards of old, as he has a great memory.
Tooth takes a break in peak Summer (Jan-Feb) and retreats to the high country (mountains), to build up his stock after the Christmas rush.
Tooth said his mother would be pleased that he’s “self reliant, but would tell me to go back to Uni and re- qualify. She would be proud that I’m knitting, because she tried to teach me to knit.”
Tooth is very au fait with a variety of subjects, both historical and contemporary; and like all good teachers, was able to correct my spelling. I enjoyed chatting with him for a long time.
I asked Tooth if he had any general wisdom to share with my readers.
“Don’t donate cash to people on the street. Buy them a coffee, food or a blanket. If they offer to wash your windscreen they are earning the money. If you see someone sitting with just a hat they aren’t homeless, they are bludging. * They should have all their clobber ** with them if they are genuine homeless.”
Tooth’s scarves are available on his relative’s Facebook page under the brand: “Tooth’s Loom”. He will send anywhere within reason, if customers pay the postage.
And now for a wartime knitting song.
*Bludging means being lazy.
** Clobber means gear, possessions.