terça-feira, 6 de maio de 2008

Lunch with Paco Pena

'The controversy hit the headlines in the Blair government because of the appointment of Derry Irving as Lord Chancellor. Irving'
The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom.
Well to be honest I could not understand the controversy at the appointment of a very experienced lawyer and the previous employer of Tony and Cherie Blair, more the strange that Cherie should be in the centre of all this when you consider the strange antics of her father and also antics of her own, 'not long before the 1997 election, a newspaper rang (Margaret) to say they had a paparazzi shot of Cherie topless by a pool in Tuscany, reading a book. They were worried it might not be Cherie, and they would look very foolish if they used it'. Still it became apparent much later that along with Derry having problems with his son in America so did Tony with his son in London, the modern problem of trying to be parents when you have no time for the job. 'Derry Irving spent a lot of money on wallpaper, etc. The Tories on the other hand - Archer and Aitken were both sent prison for committing ...'
Can I give you this link on judiciary for it rather sums up the basics of social life and its control via government, here in Brazil I have found the odd reverse of the use of law, the government do not wish the public to be involved greatly with the countries affairs so make seemingly fundamental laws which are appeasing but never ever enforced.

I am going to go a round about way to get to Paco but it is part of the strange way that I meet people. When I first arrived in Edinburgh to live with Susan I arrived with a large lorry full of
wood and machines from my workshop in Shotleyfield, I had to arrange a workshop before hand although not having much knowledge of Edinburgh, I therefore went on size and price for rent as well as finding a location near Susi´s work, she taught at a junior school in a deprived area of Edinburgh. Along with other things in my life I had not planned the move but accepted it, so the fact that after the first six months I was spending most of my time as a mother to Joe, Susi`s child by Bill(he is now a women after his sex change) and a cook cleaner for Susi I had very little time to find work let alone do it.
I was losing money rapidly having a large workshop but no work, not wanting to give up I initially tried to get teaching work to supplement my workshop and the half that I was paying for the house bills. It became clear that I needed to get a cheaper location and therefore a smaller workshop. Sarah, Susi`s sister, spotted an advert in the Times newspaper for a council workshop space in the centre of town near the Waverly Station, when I saw it I said yes straight away and signed the rental agreement that day.
The workshop at New Street was one of 16 classrooms in an old junior school and it meant that I was central as well as having company. The company proved a great support as my marriage to Susi was awful and saw me in the end seeing the doctor and psychologist and then divorce. My neighbor at New Street was Andrew and he was an ulpholster who was of retirement age and as such was planning to retire. Our joint neighbor was William Trist, a cabinet maker(sadly William developed a brain tumor and died a few years ago, he left a wife and two children) who had been working in Edinburgh for more 12 years and therefore had many clients and good contacts, which he was in no way going to share with me. Andrew had fallen out with William over an unpaid bill, Andrew and William working closely for a number of years due to their close proximity, therefore Andrew started to feed all his own clients to me and also went out of his way to recommend myself to others, of these Laurance Black and George Haggerty were to prove significant. George mainly because he introduced me to a great friend Murdo Mcload who then introduced me to Michael Bennett-Levy and Laurance gave me many clients , one of whom was Derry Irving. I did get introduced to and had for many years has a client, Jimmy Boyle, a former Glasgow gangster who served 15 years for murder, and then reinvented himself as a successful sculptor and prisoner's rights activist. see small black and white photo above.
I had repaired many pieces of furniture for Derry and one day he asked me if I could make a handrail for the stone spiral staircase in his house on the banks of Loch Long, near Tarbet on the west coast of Scotland (The Tarbert Seafood Festival is one of the premier festivals in Argyll in Scotland. Tarbert's beautiful natural harbour is the perfect backdrop for a festival that showcases some of the finest seafood that Scotland has to offer. The arrival of the Seafood Queen and Princesses by fishing boat to be crowned in this picturesque fishing village heralds the start of the festival, which includes live bands, street entertainers, children's entertainers, mouth watering cookery demonstrations and a traditional boat) the timber we chose was spalted Birch, spalting is a timber that as been subject to fungal attack and it leaves the wood with an effect similar to a black line drawing, having completed the handrail, we where left with a lot of off cuts, so it was decided to make a garden table that was dismountable for storage during the severe winters. I had origionaly tried to get Derry to let me make some chairs from a few beautiful African hardwoods but strangely he did not want to pay 3000 pounds sterling for the two arm chairs!
I cannot be certain of the dates but do remember that Edneide and her daughter Ednanda were with me at the time of delivering the table to Tarbert, Derry had suggested that I arrived at about mid day but the roads to Tarbert weave in and around the different Lochs so the journey from Edinburgh to Derry´s house takes about four and a half hours, we arrived late and quickly unloaded the table, Derry said that there were visitors and he wanted us to stay for lunch. Edneide and Ednanda did not speak any English so it was going to be a bit difficult trying to get them to be involved in the conversation. Surprisingly two of the guests were Paco Pena and his wife, or not surprising in that Derry had been an instigator in getting Paco to go to England with his Flamenco dance company, they on the other hand spoke Spanish so Paco and his wife very graciously involved my wife and step daughter in the conversation and allowed me to enjoy the meal without having to interpret.

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