There is a building plot opposite where I live, sadly, as you may remember from a previous posting, I mentioned that the cottage had been burnt down, the rumours still abound as to whether it was an accident or that an angry tenant may have actually set fire to it, we shall probably never ever know.
So, this plot of land which is perched on top a cliff edge goes up for auction, many conversations state that the land is unstable, and that the adjoining plots had to be secured by pile driving the foundations into the core of the cliff and in doing so threw the developer into liquidation, so, you can imagine the stories being banded about the town and the future of this development.
Sure enough, the plot was sold and before we as residents knew, machinations had been submitted, local residents disapproval and objections made make no difference and the scheme was approved by the local planning authority, steadily a *phoenix* shaped like a beached cruise liner starts to emerge out of the ashes.
I have been sat at my desk here, almost everyday, which overlooks the site since the owner set his builders in, which must be approximately 18 months now, my thoughts on this once called monstrosity have changed daily, and as an ex trades person who has spent many years in the construction industry I find some of the building methods used rather strange indeed, however, it has been very interesting, the style of the building compares nothing to the Victorian villas which surround it, and being in a local conservation area, I personally, and as many others believed it should have been in the style of, or a similar pastiche to the surroundings, but, instead, its big, its white, its grey, its BOLD, but not brutal, its glassy, its ultra modern, much an appearance with shadows of castle’esque from the road, but, very cruise ship’like from the seaward elevation, and guess what, its fits in its place, high above and perched upon the cliff edge perfectly, ok, ok, OK! wait a minute whilst I eat my words.
Of course I am dying to have a look inside, which is highly unlikely since I was one of the objectors to its construction in the first place, so, I imagine …..
Noticing through the site entrance I can see the multi split levels are fed by the famous “Whale Spine” staircase, probably a heavy door with square portals allows entry, the exterior consists of Mondrian styled windows, square fixed lights and full height “portraits” cover radii’ over 180degrees, glazed over three stories the seaward elevation looks like a cruise liner and this gives me an idea of how the interior may be decorated, walls beautifully plain with the occasional minimalist tones, oak flooring has to adorn the “decks”, anything else, would not pass muster, a mass radius of slate/granite, tops an island not dissimilar to the bridge of the USS Enterprise dominating the kitchen area and a cooker hood that appears to be levitating in mid air, I am sure without a doubt, that once in residence, the owners will put their own personal stamp on it, deck shoes scattered in the hallway, sailing jackets thrown over the back of the Eames style dining chairs, cushions textured with anchors & sailing yachts, yellow and red block colours of the semaphore flag scatter about, a designer handbag sits on one of the open tread stairs leading up to the bedrooms, keys to a 4×4 are tossed into what once may have been a salad bowl on a half table in a previous life …. then again, I may just be completely, utterly and totally wrong!
Once all the scaffolding comes down and the terraces and balconies are secured by beautiful green tinted glass, the property is actually going to look a million dollars, and that is probably what it has cost, and more. One of the main expenses has to be labour, and I am sure, if this building, as others, had been constructed before the ban of smoking in the work place and access to wi-fi, social media and constant communication on every conceivable electronic equipment available, time, as in labour cost would be cut in half, a constant steady stream of work personal with either a “fag or rollie” in hand or a smart device in the other whilst stood outside a workplace perimeter, I can remember when I was in construction, before the ban, almost every trades person smoked a cigarette onsite, whilst actually working, some might smoke the famous Montecristo or a King Edward “cigarello”, a sign of either a) responsibility, b) a foreman or architect, or c), a reminder of travels abroad, whatever, the progress never ever stopped, conversation and laughter filled the work place, only stopping for the ten minute tea break at 10am and half an hour at 12:30, a fag always hung precariously out the corner of a mouth, the more smoke being produced, the more the artisan was concentrating, I use the word artisan, and I believe it to be that, the art of the old school trades person is slowly disappearing, its now a new generation of trades, it all happens to be different these days, and like the proverbial cigarette, and the ban of, now means that the British Construction Industry is steadily extinguishing itself into its own deconstruction, it is of no wonder these days there is such a large amount of import, a strong stealthily business of ready made properties, building the traditional British way makes costs unreal and progress extremely slow, but, that is not so say construction here is inferior, however, I have observed that builders and trades concerned who appear on TV programs such as Grand Designs and the likes of Charlie Luxton, always run behind schedule, underprice the project and surveyors and architects seem to want to wriggle out of any responsibility. Now, and more often, it would appear that the designer flat pack home which arrives on the back of a lorry, are now de rigueur, complete with a specialist team at hand, the *building* is unpacked, literally, assembled in days and topped out within a week and as an example, the kitchen units come with the utensils and crockery all ready in place and the bath with the chosen taps already attached.
Goodness know what I am going to look at once all this is complete?, perhaps watch the box hedge grow in the stainless planters on the terraces, the designer garden furniture blow about if not secured down or watch the Blackback seagulls nesting on the roof. What ever, I wish the owners every happiness, and hoping that their new home is filled with as much laughter as mine is.
At least *it* now rounds my view off very nicely, and for that I am forever grateful.