Today will also be spent on Health and Safety, but this kind is the sort that really matters - how to prevent several cwt of marble from toppling onto a passing child.
It will be done by what is called a 'secret' fixing, and by 'secret' I mean that you will not know it is there, and by 'not know it is there', I mean that I am not going to stick it on the outside and paint it red.
As mentioned many times before, a good restoration job should show no trace of the restorer by the time he/she has finished, and this is more difficult than you may imagine. One of the reasons why I despise most architects is that they are dead-set on leaving their mark on every petty bit of work they do, rather than have it so integral with its surroundings that - if successful - people will walk past it without even noticing it is there. 'It looks like it grew there,' is not a compliment they wish to receive.
The Great Fire of London and the WW2 Blitz on it have a lot to answer for. I remember, as a kid, London in the 1950s and early 60s, when most streets had massive, buddleia-filled craters dotted along them where houses used to be.
The skyline to the East remained almost unchanged at the expense of the East End, when the London Fire Brigade put all their efforts into saving St Paul's from incendiary bombs (it was erected in fine, Portland stone after the fire of 1666), but when the Docks turned into brown-field sites, the architects moved in.
It is a bit of a vicious circle really - you cannot revive a post-war economy without spending money on rebuilding, but after he rebuilt the bombed Oldfield Park here in Bath, Cyril Beazer went on to make even more money with his ghastly, fake stone, shitty little hovels, or a vast shopping centre built after perfectly good, pretty Georgian terraces were demolished to make way for it.
You would have thought we would have learned a lesson from the Victorian and early sixties architects who were instructed to clear away all the picturesque Georgian 'slums', rather than leave them standing and make them habitable, but David Cameron is now talking of doing the modern equivalent. The developers need a cash injection, as does the economy. It's a rather poor model when viewed in terms of 'the good of society'.
'The Big Society' doesn't go so far as to stop central government from meddling with local affairs by allowing developers to eat into the Green Belt.
Everything swings violently one way, then the other. From having no protection at all on lethally dangerous building sites, workers are now not allowed to pick anything up which weighs more than 25 kilos, so now the only people in the building trade with naturally acquired muscles are scaffolders.
Elderly stone-masons are now being sacked on a daily basis for not wearing safety goggles and dust-masks all day, when they are only using a mallet and chisel as they have been for 40 years.
There is a compromise long known by anyone who works stone. If the stone is high-silica and dangerous, then you always wear a dust-mask. If it is low-silica and just produces an irritating dust, then you might opt for goggles, or just pick out a few chips from your eyelids and wear the mask anyway.
If you wear both goggles and mask, the goggles steam up and you cannot see what you are doing.
In the old days, if it started to rain on a building site, everyone downed tools and went home on full pay. Can you imagine that happening today?! Railway workers are expected to work on Christmas night so as not to hold up mighty commerce.
The pendulum continues to swing.
Dangerous Fun. - New for the boys this year is the Dangerous Fun Caravan (Pirate's Lair), complete with their original (now tattered) flag, which has been framed. I have ...
1 hour ago