Work, of the paid type has caused unexpected interruptions in this blog recently. Schedules are tight and relentless, and travelling, mostly to Birmingham (of which perhaps more in a future entry) and very, very long days. Today started at six am after a night in a Hilton Hotel near Birmingham and ended just now in Hull (approx 23.52 local time), and I left home two days ago, have returned for a change of underwear and a precious six hours shut-eye on a sofa in my own house, before heading off again onto the British motorways - Leeds, Birmingham, Derby and somewhere else beckon in the next few days. But heed ye not this entry as a cry for sympathy or even admiration for my Calvanistic work tendencies. These periods of emplyment are a short, very intense, sharp, shock of immenmse pleasure. When we are "on the road" like this the little crew that assembles HAS to become a functioning unit, militarily efficient in a very short period of time, as we put up and disassemble large complicated mechanical structures in vanishingly smaller periods of time. The group gets tight very quickly or drowns - jeopardizing everyone's future employment - so relationships, in-jokes, ruthlessly efficient procedures, and most crucially of all, a cliqueish distain for outsiders, all have to become normal operating procedure within minutes of meeting, or the thing just doesnt work. I cannot recall the number of people I have had a brilliant laugh with at two am, (after a very long day, as we try to solve one technical problem or other) with whom I've swapped e-mail addresses, swearing to keep in touch. You almost never do, and on the rare, naive occasions that you do meet up for a drink, its wierd, strained, forced. YOu are supposed to know these people through climbing under stages, feeding miles of audio-visual cable through impossible, claustrophobic spaces, or walkng gantries ninety feet above the ground fixing a dry ice machine with the wrong tools, not comfortably, in a pub, like a civilian. Frankly, it is brilliant, but it cannot go on for ever. It is a young person's game, and I alas, while childish in many ways, am definitely not young. SO maybe, this is my last season. Just until next August, or September. This current spot of work continues until the 27th September, soi YWNA may be sporadic until then.
I just had to write, though tonight, for two reasons. Firstly, I have come home, and naturally, am completely out of synch with the rhythyms of Large Mansions. Planning to sleep in your own bed is great, except if you cannot sleep because your body clock is operating according to the demands of caffeine, bad beer and hotel food. So I have driven through the night to be at home with my beautiful partner only to end up sitting in the kitchen hankering after an Americano, large bottle of Orange Juice a roll your own cigarette, and some chocolate and a desire/suspicion that some technical problem will arise in relation to our house that will require:
a) a MIG welder
b) very high scaffolding or at least, a 'cherry picker'
c) some gaffa (or, in Canada 'duct') tape
d). an innoucous piece of metal, ground, persuaded and improvosied intro an essential tool
e). someone on guard for the health and safety officers.
Part of me wants the roof to blow off.
The second reason of writing is that I think (although this may well be a reflection of a strung out caffeine and highway fuelled adrenalin high) I have just seen the most beautiful wildlife pictures. Even if my impression IS slightly distorted, I do think that these shots are pretty good, and Northern Norway has been permanently added to Kgyrystan, Ulan Bator, New Guinea and Peru as places I would rather see and die than Rome. The pictures can be found at :