Saturday, November 19, 2011

wall staring shard

A  central heating vent, a hook and a rusty stain on the wall of the pub.

In the restaurant where we are having lunch there is a man of vast girth sitting at a table opposite ours.  Mrs Plutarch has her back to him and cannot see him. He and his party, the bill paid, rise and prepare to leave. I whisper and mouth to Mrs P,  a fellow people watcher who is  deprived of this particular  view, the word "enormous". Unfortunately one of the big man's party catches me in the act. With an understanding smile, however, he nods goodbye, making me feel a little less uncomfortable, but still uncomfortable. How lamentably far I have come from the time when as a child I was admonished not to stare. I stare all the time. "Curiosity killed the cat!" they used to say. But cats have nine lives.

Beside London Bridge Station the new glass and steel building known as The Shard because of its blade-like, tapering shape is nearing completion. A crane working, it seems non-stop, is hoisting glass panels and other components into position. The crane reaches into the clouds above the summit of the building's towering frame. An enclosed walkway or lift tracks the crane to the top. I think of the  driver and the  view of London he must enjoy, in his precipitous cab,  as he manages his controls.

1 comment:

Roderick Robinson said...

In meeting your professional obligations this was inevitable and I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. From a technical point of view I'd be interested to know whether this brief encounter would have formed a post had you got away with your surreptitiousness. Or did the soupcon of embarrassment (cleverly euphemised here as discomfort) transmute what was mere lead into gold?