Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Because I am currently working with materials which are normally alien to me, I am spending more time in builder's merchants than I normally do, and was attracted from quite some distance away in one the other day by these - which I first thought were some sort of scary, comic Dodo-masks being offered to hairy-arsed builders for use during tea-breaks, just to frighten children.
Closer inspection showed them to be a type of staining gadget created specifically for the restoration of garden furniture, and I still don't know if the 'serving suggestion' of right and left hands holding one each was deliberately intended to look like eyes., but I bet they deter shop-lifting in the immediate vicinity.
Another place I don't normally have to visit is a specialist plaster suppliers that are hidden in an obscure part of Wiltshire, which is situated on a crease in the road-map as well as a crease in the dramatic and ancient topography, and I set off in the 'new' Volvo on my second attempt to find it unaided. 'Second' because this was not the first time I had driven around in circles trying to locate it and given up after about one hour and 50 miles.
It seems to be my lot to have to get to places which offer at least 15 different, diagonal routes to reach them at the moment, and this is the last of a long line of them, taken when either seeing about a job, or seeking out a replacement Volvo.
It doesn't help that the specialist plaster company is run by a family whose religion requires them to shun technology, so their internet presence is skimpy, although they do give directions on it and answer the phone - yes, they do have a phone - if it rings. I tried calling them on my mobile on the first attempt to find them, and the man almost held my hand as he talked and I drove, telling me to turn left at the next pub. I turned left when I saw the pub, but it must have been the wrong one and I gave up and drove home.
Yesterday, the situation was even more complicated, because as soon as I set off, the rain fell so hard that it cause massive roadside floods and cut visibility down to about 50 yards. After 3/4ths of an hour driving around in it, and having called up my glamorous assistant for directions (he told me to turn left at the pub - which I did), I decided that it was not the best weather to be loading a lot of expensive Plaster of Paris in the car anyway, and I turned around and went home.
Like Platform 9 and three-quarters, I know this place exists because I have visited it many times (with other people), but in my last two attempts I have just bounced off the brick wall, bruising my owl and bending my shopping-trolley, so to speak.
Today, when I have finished writing this, I am going back to Google Maps and printing out a larger scale one of the area, possibly adding a step-by-step, AA route-planner for reassurance. I am constantly amazed at the altruism shown by many contributors to the internet - this company has been pin-pointed on a Google Map by a stranger who has obviously had similar experiences when trying to find it, and likes to see the wheels of commerce revolving as smoothly as possible. I don't think - as already mentioned - that the family-run firm would have done this themselves, so they probably left it to their infidel web-designer.
I got back (from my the pub and my girlie's first shift) last night, to be told by H.I. that she had watched an entire feature film on You Tube which she had been trying to find in DVD form for a couple of years. Someone had gone to the trouble of streaming the film 'Phaedra' (with Melina Mercouri) in high-quality video, for no obvious commercial gain, and H.I. had spent a wet afternoon watching it.
This is what I mean by altruistic behaviour on the net, but there's no such thing as free pornography, even if you do want to watch it - which I don't! Honest! No, really!