Wednesday 3 August 2011

Paint Job

Well those of you in the know will be aware I'm moving to a new premises. Yes John of John Street is moving to Main Street. A move not of my choice but now I'm actually doing it and have the premises got I'm quite excited by the idea. Last weekend was spent ripping bits off walls and painting layers of undercoat over the existing dirty red velvet paint job. The dirty red velvet was all over the walls and the ceiling giving the impression of being enclosed in a hooker's tomb.  Being aware of my limitations I know that I'm no painter so after two days of slapping on undercoat it was time to find a proper painter to finish the job. After calling a few friends who were all busy till next week I remembered a very nice quietly spoken guy who's been in the shop a few times who is also a painter. Now I know him only as Simon and didn't even have a number for him, good going for a phone shop eh? So how do I find him? Driving round town looking for this guy I was reminded of doing the same thing with my father when I was a kid. In the Ireland of the 1970s and 80s the best tradesmen were to be found in the pub, there wasn't any official work, everything was under the counter. A booming black economy existed in those high tax high unemployment days. Any pay gotten from jobs was seen as a sort of bonus and spending it in the local bar was always an option. Having been born in a bar and part raised in one too my father would have been aware of this. Also he knew that Lent was the best time to get these men as they would have been off the drink. I remember him stipulating that the job had to be done in a certain time, before Easter. They always delivered on time more than likely cos they knew they wouldn't get paid otherwise. He always got the best guys, you certainly wouldn't have seen a bubbled wallpaper or chipped paint job round our place. I remember being amazed that a man who I'd watched effortlessly doing the most intricate painting work could have such a shaking hand when Dad would be paying him. Little did I know of the effects of drink in those days. Not that I'll have the same problem with Simon.  A friend had his number and he's starting work finishing my poor beginnings tomorrow. I'm looking forward to dealing with him

My TV:

Now that BBC4 has come to the Sky platform I've been watching a lot of excellent documentaries. None of the titles seem very exciting but I haven't found a bad one yet. One I recorded last night was The History of the British Fairground. Some brilliant old footage of the traveling  fairs from the 1890's on and an eye opener for how important these fairs were. For the general public the fair was the first time they encountered electric light, moving pictures, boxing and many other things of the modern age. The fair people would go to a town a few weeks before the fair, film all the local people then charge them to see themselves on screen when the fair came to town. The footage of a man whose show was his twelve year old son boxing a kangaroo was bizarre, the kangaroo won by the way. The christian brothers weren't a patch on these guys. The hurdy-gurdys are in town here for a few weeks maybe I'll suggest a few acts to them.....

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