Springingtiger's Blog

My career as a builder

As child I loved to build card houses. My card houses were not stylised constructions but modern architecture with court yards towers and several wings. Although they were made from playing cards in my minds eye I could see where all their doors and windows would be, and I knew the usage of all their rooms.

Later, when at prep school, I used to build farm buildings for my toy tractors and farm animals. Each building was visualised, then constructed from stiff white card and balsa wood. I was quite proud of my farm buildings that I kept in a classroom and I derived a lot of joy and satisfaction from building them. Each one took considerable time and quite a lot of work. Perhaps I made my pride too obvious, but one morning I went into the classroom to discover that someone had crushed every one of my buildings. I never built another.

Nowadays if I am going to work in my garden or house I usually draw a free hand plan and some impressions of the outcome. I fill pages of my diary with these designs, sometimes they make their way, to scale, to A3 paper and thence to execution. In the garden I tend to work from my rough ideas without a final plan. What I have not done in over forty years, nor ever will, is to construct a model building, my career as a builder ended the morning I entered that classroom to find my treasures vandalised.


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