Two posts in one day - sorry. The original concept for the snow sculpture in Quebec was to be two, huge copies of Rodin's 'The Thinker', back to back, with a few books in between them. It was to be a joke about book-ends. That's all, just a silly joke... oh, never mind.
OK, it was a highly ambitious joke, but I think I could have pulled it off if I had not taken a couple of useless people with me, neither of whom - as it turned out - had the slightest idea about carving, and refused to come to my workshop to learn anything when I made the clay model from which we worked. (sorry to moan, but it was the truth)
The most useless of the two rammed me in the ankle with a luggage trolley just after we got off the plane, and broke it (my ankle, not the trolley). This meant I could not climb a ladder, so had to stay on the ground trying to give them instructions as to where to remove the snow, whilst in great pain and in minus 20 degree temperatures. I persuaded the organisers to let me modify the design to one Thinker only, but even that was too much for my inept helpers. The female one eventually gave up scratching about in the snow and went off to shag the leader of the Costa Rican team, who completed his sculpture in the first day, so simple was it. He won the competition too. That's a bit like the Jamaican skiing team winning the Olympics...
The initial work on the ground was very hard (see previous post's photo) but you could not take off any clothing otherwise the sweat would freeze. I became very thirsty, and drank Perrier water, but - even though the bottle was wrapped in a jumper and put into a trunk next to an arc-light - it would freeze SOLID in about three-quarters of an hour.
Every day we would be pulled off site to meet the Mayor, give interviews to the T.V. etc, which cut our time down by half. We also had regular visits from Bon Homme who was an unidentified, local dignitary, dressed in a snowman suit, dancing to the official Carnaval music, which blared out of the speakers ALL DAY, driving us around the twist. I heard that the previous Bon Homme had drunk a bit too much one day, and vomited inside his mask, which he had to keep on all day - they are not allowed to reveal their identity.
I had not realised how depressed I still am about this little episode until I started writing this, so I'm going to cut the account short so I don't have to think about it again tonight.
One good thing was that - after I got back to England - a small girl came up to me and asked, "Are you the man who was on Blue Peter?" (Blue Peter is a famous children's TV program in Britain) I said no, but she insisted I was. It turned out that one of the film crews were filming for Blue Peter, so I was on it after all! I want my badge!
Did you know that you can fit ALL of the British Isles into the Great Lakes?