Farewell, Concrete Silo

Journal Entry, 30 Aug 2010:

Saturday afternoon I set off to spend an evening at Heanor with Reina and Andi and Pikey Pete and Lou Lou and Gaz and Gaz and Carol, and Vicky all turned up. On Sunday morning we went to Lichfield to see Roy do a bungee jump.
But on the way there it rained and rained and rained. I spent one-and-a-half hours in Morrison’s at Buxton waiting for it to stop.
At the Lichfield fundraiser it rained – short intense downpours, and they wouldn’t let Roy do his jump cos he exceeded the weight limit.
So Pete and Lou stood in (or rather fell in) for him.

Last night I decided to stay in Derby and go trolling round my old haunts (and possibly get a good shag in the process). So I booked into the Hotel International (faintly shabby and neglected) and went out. When I turned onto Curzon St it turned out that Freddie’s Bar had been knocked down and replaced by a half-finished block of apartments. So I went to The Crown only to discover that it was the only Gay Bar in town.

And then I was riding back to M’cr along the A6 – wonderful, no rain! – and all the traffic stopped to let a herd of cattle move from one field to another. They seemed very interested in my bike – good job Andy hadn’t been there on his Friesian Fabric covered Varadero.

Snippets from the MEN, regarding the wonderful statue.
04 Dec 2004: ‘Almost there’ about the impending completion of B-of-the-Bang. Tom Russell, Chief Executive of New East Manchester, was quoted as saying it was  ‘…a monumental piece of public art to provide a sense of identity and place to represent the physical, economic and social changes underway in the area.’

24 Oct 2007: Council Chiefs are suing the makers of B-of-the-Bang cos it’s unsafe. Four years after it was due to be completed, the controversial sculpture remains fenced off after losing a spike in Jan 2005.
1 Sep 2009: All spikes removed from sculpture and only the central tower and knuckle remain.

2 Sep 2010: Today at work had a visitor – Italian guy – to witness our procedures and check that we were using properly calibrated test equipment.

Tomorrow: Get safety glasses from Specsavers, remove spec sample from SS cabinet, take photographs of Flowserve units in the SS cabinet, start immersin tests on panels.

In the news: William Hague (one-time leader of Tory party, teenage audience star at party conference, and current foreign secretary) is in trouble after sharing an hotel room with his male assistant. Nothing untoward happened….so why has this aide already resigned?

Fri 3 Sep 2010: In Eccles, not far from my workplace, is an industrial building which includes four enormous – truly colossal – concrete towers, uniform grey cylinders like something off the cover of a Kraftwerk LP.
Today I was walking home and noticed that they are being demolished, and the ragged edge is revealing the glorious metal pipework that now forms a new horizon.

11 Sep: It was nine years ago today that the Twin Towers were destroyed. Today woke up with a headache, which is odd since I didn’t go out last night. Instead I stayed in and had a pizza, home-topped with onions, olives, mushrooms, Spanish ham and truffle oil.

13 Sep 2010¨ Well, I’ve been at work for five months now but I still have not been issued with a new laptop – repeatedly promised, no telephone on the desk, and no key entry fob for the door.

Tomorrow: Man U at home to Glasgow Rangers, there’s Cricket at Old Trafford, and the TUC general conference at G-Mex. At work, we may have decided to abandon the mercaptan test for Jotun. (Note: this was an idiotic requirement for us to immerse painted panels in neat mercaptan, just in case the odorant spills into the gas pipeline. Endless e-mail discussions, trying to establish whether this test had ever been carried out in the past.)




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