Friday, 31 October 2014
I was visiting one of those huge retail barns on an industrial estate this morning, down near the docks and very near to a main entrance for container lorries. After I'd given up on shopping -- I need a new waterproof jacket, but not at that price -- I thought I'd see if I could sort of accidentally-on-purpose wander into the dock area, all casual like... But not a chance. They've even blocked off the view from the entrance bridge with blinds attached to the parapet. It's seriously off-limits, even to idiots who can't read, or somehow didn't see or ignored the first few "No Public Access" signs. So I contented myself with a stroll around the crumbling industrial "units" on the estate, and was excited to find the improbable but pleasing arrangement above.
I have a love-hate relationship with such places, where light engineering and the grittier service industries huddle together, like smokers, behind the car dealers' showrooms. If not for a few extra brain cells and some lucky breaks (like being born in 1954 and not 1984), it could easily have been my fate, too, to work in a concrete-floored workshop with a set of spanners and a grimy parts manual. But there are worse things than banging and bending metal into shape, or fitting replacement windscreens. And selling outdoor gear to people like me is definitely one of them.