Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 7 December 2009

The road not taken. But let's imagine...

A week before I became sixteen, when hangings were still public and packs of wolves roamed the Dales, I started work. Forty-four years later I retired. Two years of freelance followed as I waited for Mrs BB to join me in retirement. End-to-end scribbling except for two years repairing RAF radio equipment and perhaps an accumulated six weeks spent looking for work. But suppose I'd done something different?

Ian Jack, Guardian columnist and former editor of Granta was reflecting on an alternative life as a plumber. A craft with none of the basket-weaving associations the word so frequently attracts: intellectually and manually demanding (think of central heating systems), useful to society, well-paid, independent. I would be a bad plumber but that's because I lack training and experience. With them I might still be a bad plumber. But it's an interesting thought. How about you?

Jack ends his piece with the most English of questions: How would you feel if your daughter decided to become a plumber? Ah, England.

Novel crib as promised. Provisional title "Searching the Daily Telegraph".
Andrew Hatch, fortyish, divorced, tumbles from production engineer to welding consumables salesman. Loses job, exposed to the chill winds of Thatcher Britain.
Clare Lowther, fortyish, from wealthy family, physics at Wadham, stratospheric IT management jobs. Unsatisfactorily married (three-year-old son) following quixotic gesture to present spouse. Unemployed, looking for change. Both meet (not necessarily carnally) under unforeseen circumstances and in unfamiliar environment. CL - Physical details: thin rather than slender, no bust, slightly elongated face, small upwards curving mouth which appears to emphasise two central incisors, large dark-ringed eyes, curly hair cropped close with some grey, competent and confident (sexually and professionally), impatient with idiots, breathy voice.