Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
... give up.
This week - or what is left of it - I am labouring within the constrictions of a rare thing in my world - a deadline. This is why I am sitting at home writing this bollocks, and not out in the sunshine chiselling away at a block of marble.
'When the going gets tough, the tough get going' is a trite little saying which has never, ever, applied to me. At the slightest sign of adversity, I pack up and go home, making sure to stop off at the pub on the way.
Someone called me up once and said that they urgently needed a birthday gift for HRH Prince Charles, but they needed it in three days. Sensing a deadline which would have brought a small quantity of perspiration to my forehead, I declined the commission on the grounds that I was too busy. The caller (who knew me well) pulled me up on my feeble excuse, so I got someone else to make it, and set myself off in the direction I have been trying to follow ever since. It is called 'delegation'.
This is not to say that I did not once have very high energy levels, with a strength to bodyweight ratio which would have - combined with my long reach - made me a passable rock-climber. The trouble with rock-climbing is that you cannot just suddenly decide to go back down the mountain in time to catch last orders, so I never took it up.
This is not to say that I don't like a challenge. I once bought a one hundredweight (112 lbs) bag of cement - in the days when builders were allowed to pick up something which weighed more than a few bags of sugar - and booked a taxi to take me and it from the yard which was up a steep hill on one side of Bath, to the building site up an even steeper hill on the other, 3 miles away.
The taxi driver refused to take the cement, so I put it on my shoulder and carried it back. I wanted to see if I could do it without putting it down, and after about an hour of being laughed at by various people who did not know how far I had come with it, I arrived at the top of the hill to be greeted by the owner of the house, who thought I was just about to have a heart-attack. Maybe I was.
So every time I have tested myself to the limit, there has been no appreciable financial gain involved. Maybe I am just scared of success.