Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 30 May 2015
I want it and I want it now
Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Is this how most people live? Actually fulfilling promises to complete things in good time?
If ever I have been late in finishing something (which is 98% of the time) I have always defended myself by saying that the thing is a luxury object which nobody's life depends on, but that only makes the client more angry.
When I had a workshop in a busy yard in town, some wag suggested I should have a mission-statement (when such things were in vogue) saying, 'Antiques while you wait.'
I suppose I don't have people waiting on me most of the time - most of my stuff sits in isolation and is a mere adornment to the meat of a project, installed long after the painters have finished colouring the plasterwork. But now I have two sets of builders, a shareholder group of 536 and an examination board waiting on me, and the posters for the video-mapping event are now out of date and taken down.
I know how they feel, though. If I buy something on eBay or wherever, I want it to be piped down the line to appear before me as soon as the hammer comes down, so I can gloat for a few days and nights over it. I may have told you this story before, but here it is again - an extreme example of my tendency to procrastinate.
Many years ago, a woman came into my workshop with four pieces of cut stone - salvaged from a previous house - which she wanted me to turn into a small window surround by the cutting of four basic chamfers around the inside edge.
She had a boy of around 10 years old with her, and because he was physically so unlike her - he was very dark with Indian Asian features - I assumed he was an adopted son.
She said that there was no particular rush on the job, because her builders would not cut the hole in the wall until I had finished making the surround. That was a very rash thing to say to someone like me. She called back about a month later to pick it up, only to find I had not started on it. 'No problem', she said.
I don't know how many years had passed up until the day she returned, but when she did, she was accompanied by a large man of over six feet tall, with a full, black beard.
At first I thought he was her toy-boy (they were all the rage in those days), but he looked strangely familiar. Then I realised that this was the small boy who she had brought with her the first time.
I said that it was still not finished, and I would get it done that week for sure.