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Loose rivets
18th Aug 2008, 22:43
As explained on a music thread. One is without spell check, and also without a bottle of wine. As in....An Irish friend used to hold up his glass of Scotch and say, "Can't wait to get myself outside this." So in the same way I'm saying I'm outside....Oh, never mind.

Anyway, this party.

Twas at his son's house, a big old between the wars, or even Victorian red-brick house in Colchester. Vast extension, everything white and modern set into the old structure. Stunning. Anyway, folks that I hadn't seen for years turn up and one bloke who had a tale to tell.

It seems that his former neighbour didn't like his extension, even before it was finished...so much so that he started to get stroppy about the building noise, or anything else he could think of to make life difficult. He recorded the building work noise and played it back at night. Then there was weeks of angst and stakes being raised daily. Car accros drive ended up being pushed down to the villiage, things being hurled and hose pipe into complaining neibour's kitchen window. While our man was getting some serious squirting done, said neibour throws a carving knife out of his window and into our man's house. The police were so tired of being called by now, that they didn't even bother to respond to a claim of attempted murder. Well, not for three days anyway. Never was either of them arrested. Odd that since a friend of mine recently spent 8 hours in a police cell in Clacton for a claimed pushing of his neibour. No charges were brought.

One gets very confused about British law.

Anyway, our man finally thinks it's time to ship out and build his dream home.

Ten years goes by, some of them in a pair of on-site caravans.

I'll need his permission to show the Google Earth pics, but what a stunning house. 7,000 square feet of it. He described tiling it with Welsh Slate. 30 odd tonnes of it. Every one laid by him. All the plumbing, wireing etc etc The structure was/ is truely monumental. with some 5cm rebar included in the n-hundred tonnes of steel. About all he didn't do was the face brickwork. I forget how many thousand of the reclaimed bricks he used, but he perchased a quarter million of them.

My mind went to my DIY projects. It's funny, but just when you think you've done something clever, someone like this turns up and makes you realize just how insignificant your life has been.

Just how much can one man do in a lifetime? Brunell comes to mind, or Christopher Wrenn. (He spent more time on anatomical learning and teaching than on building cathedrals.) Some people just seem to achieve impossible amounts of work.


Anyone else aquainted with such a person?

tony draper
18th Aug 2008, 23:02
Doubt if Christopher Wren ever laid a brick wielded a chisel or toted a hod in his life,he stood about watching other people do it,like a lot of these chaps who say "I built my own house yer know" what they mean is they wandered about the site with a clipboard a brand new yellow plastic hard hat wearing green wellies.
Christopher Wren did not build St Pauls Cathedral he designed it and supervised the work as other chaps built it.
:rolleyes:

G-CPTN
18th Aug 2008, 23:22
Your acquaintance isn't by any chance Nicholas van Hoogstraten?
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Parapunter
18th Aug 2008, 23:30
...By which strange happenstance, I have a connection with. Hoogstratens chef was our neighbour for a while. Lionel. And he liked Doris Day. A Lot. Interesting views Lionel had on life & Zimbabwe exposed slum lords. Used to knock on our door & ask if our flatmate Julian fancied a drive out to the garden centre and back. He never did.

Loose rivets
19th Aug 2008, 13:09
Your acquaintance isn't by any chance Nicholas van Hoogstraten?


No, No...much nicer. Hoogstraten sent shivers down me spine when I saw him on T/V. But the project did sound a bit like that.

This chap, I can't remember his name, was very much hands on. And that's the mistake I made. If I'd done what Drapes was saying, and just stuck to the managing, I might have made a success of my projects.

Just an aside. The bloke that supplied the slate? floors for St Paul's, made a personal fortune by selling the scrap bits.

Just to show how daft some people can be, (me in this case) Getting a Persimmon home and trying to make a silk purse out of it was a formula for...well, not disaster, but a meagre profit. I got it cos it had a lovely corner plot, and worked on it for weeks. I even put led-light strips on the glass and took the front door off to put proper stain on it. Even burnished the brass hinges at home with me buffing wheels. Looked really nice when I'd done.

Went down there t'other day and someone has strapped another house on the side, making them a pair of semies. Probably got as much for the garden as I got for the house.:ugh: