Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 3 March 2017
We are paid to wear belt and braces
Just a quick note: Anyone out there (in the UK) familiar with the mockumentary, 'This Country'? It is brilliantly funny, especially if you live as close to the Cotswolds as I do. BBC3. Have a look.
Despite the cold, windy, rainy weather, I feel very content and optimistic today. Even waking up with the headache I have had for a week is reassuring. It is an affirmation that - although I may, indeed, drink too much - the week-long hangover maybe exacerbated by the wine, but is simply yet another symptom of the sinus-related problems created by the 4-month head-cold. Careful adjustment of dosage and the collation of data obtained thereby has scientifically proved this. Well. at least in my head anyway.
One of the reasons I feel optimistic is that my main man has commissioned me to design two features for translation into stone, and this time I have managed to by-pass the 15 or so managers that usually form a series of obstacles between concept and execution, thereby saving about three months of heartache and two solid weeks of fruitless discussion in meetings. He wants it - he will have it.
About two years ago, the existing objects were lying on a floor awaiting their outcome as decided by the subsequent endless meetings, and I pointed out that there were two missing. The originals are part of a series of four (being Spring and Summer motifs for the Four Seasons... derr...), and that sooner or later, the other two would be asked for.
These stone objects are huge. About five feet across and around twelve inches thick, they must weigh about half a ton each. The client wanted them mounted fifteen feet up on a wall, beneath which guests would sit around eating, or maybe dancing after the banquets.
So everyone sprang into action to decide the best way of getting them up there without killing themselves or - worse - killing the guests next Christmas if there was any chance whatsoever of them crashing down during the festivities. I have seen large stone things fall from their fixings, and believe me, it is shocking. There is no warning at all. One second they are up there, the next they are not.
The stainless steel mounting plates they have used are real belt and braces procedure, as they have to be. The trouble is that they increase the overall weight by about 50 percent, which has its own problems. The consideration has now shifted to the strength of the wall, which was built without prior knowledge of what was going to be asked of it.
Anyway, they are up safe and sound, and look so good that the client wants the other two.
If my voice was a little louder, I could have asked them to allow for the predictable request for two more, then I could have taken photos and measurements without having to climb 15 feet up on a ladder to do so - not that they will let me use a ladder. They will have to build a scaffold. Oh well, it is all work.
Homework: The power of bulldogs versus the power of social media. Discuss.