Saturday, February 06, 2016

construction time again

hello there

well, then, look you see. the title here is misleading, and not just for any confusing suggestion that this might all in some way pertain to Depeche Mode. this post does indeed concern itself with some construction work, but it is not current as the "again" might imply, but rather from closer to twenty years ago than i would perhaps care to willingly confess.

on my most recent of frequent visits to Gran and Gramps i was presented with a number of photographs. three, if precision is your thing, and all of them capturing moments of some work i did down at South Fork. no, not the actual South Fork off of that show that was sent in Dallas, the name of which escapes me for the moment, the other Dallas. Mum & Dad's place.

i am all but almost certain that i have shared images and stories of this before, but there you go - these are new images of the construction work i did - under the  supervision of Gramps - which saw a luxury slide installed by the side of the swimming pool.

yeah, that's me bending over, opening up a bag of cement mix to get it in the mixer. and more on that mixer just now.  i think that might be Dad you can see on the left, it certainly looks like one of his poses. he is probably stood ensuring that he got more than his money's worth out of me in doing the job. which, granted, wouldn't have been too difficult, as i got precisely zero off of him in payment for the work. well, that's not true - he assured me i got to take pride in a job well / cheaply done.

the decision Dad took to commission a slide for the swimming pool at South Fork was an interesting one. he elected, in his wisdom to - much as was the case with satellite tv - have it done only when all of his children were grown up and had mostly left the house. cheers for that.

these pictures are from day two of two of the construction work. i know this for a fact as there is a cement mixer visible. but more on that later. here is me having a sip of water (or similar) as my gaffer life foreman, Gramps, looks on wondering when i am going to get on with finishing the job.

the mixer, then. on day one of the project it was the case that i mixed the required concrete manually. i would say by hand, but the project commissioner (Dad) did at the least allow me to use a shovel. i was advised that i was doing it this way rather than with a mixer in order to keep the costs down. when i asked, in passing, exactly how much a mixer would have cost, i was advised that it was, in the currency of the Africa of the South, R35. at today's exchange rates, which are only ever so slightly worse now than they were then, that translates into US$2.18, and indeed £1.50. certain comments were passed by me about this budget saving which saw, presumably to shut me up, the mixer arrive on day two.

when was day two? i think 1998. the only thing i know for certain was that day two of two was on the fifteenth of December. i have had good reason to remember that in more recent times.

i particularly like this last picture from the construction work - partially because of the smart way the cigarette hangs from my mouth; mostly because i look like i know what i am doing with my hand on the machine.

oh yes, that is what happened - when the concrete was laid and "partially" dry, Gramps ordered me to get up on the slide and test it for stability / safety. there was a slight wobble, but thanks to my engineering and surveying skills it was sturdy enough, in a rudimentary sort of way, to be fine to use. mostly.

i suppose, looking back on this, i should really add "involved in international construction projects" to my cv, or if you like resume sort of thing. it might be the sort of thing that sees me, one day, land my dream job as a flange installer or flange technician.

anyway, i have very much enjoyed this look back to the way things were - this was all before i had yet to meet my (considerably) better half and things like that, no less. if for some reason you've enjoyed this too, well then so much the better.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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