I have two poorly little people at home so this post has been delayed - many apologies. And if any one knows why my babies are always ill and how I can make them more robust do let me know. I blame the fact that Min didn't go to nursery when she was little, so is only just getting all the school bugs that the others have already had........hey ho.
Anyway I promised some of the stranger/funnier show stories. And I thought it would be interesting to give you a run down of the 'popular' themes
Show Story No. 1
Now, most of the people we meet at these shows are lovely, and simply want to know a bit more about the work we do or could do. Some are just starting and others may already have planning but they tend to be very nice people.
But every year, without fail, we get at least one from the 'what wood do you use' category (there is a clue in our name.......). And Mr 'What Wood Do You Use' (it is always a man, sorry for the generalisation) normally comes with his friend Mr 'I Could Have Done it Better Myself' for a day trip - they have no intention of self building - EVER.
This year we had a few - 'Is It Real Wood' visitors (they always knock or kick the frame for some reason) but no Mr 'WWDYU' - and I was beginning to think that without the inevitable visit from an awkward pair of amateur wood workers we would be jinxed for the year.......until Sir 'You've Built this Wrong' and family made their way to poor Trudy.
He duly pointed out that bits of the show stand weren't structurally necessary, that we had over sized the beams, that there were too many rafters, that we could omit at least 8 braces.
Trudy was very polite and smiled at all the right places and waited for the tirade to finish - I don't even know if she had chance to explain that the stand was just designed to look pretty and that taking out the oak frame sort of defeated the exercise, before they moved on to the next victim. What a funny way to spend a day out.
Show Story No 2.
I think we did about 6 radio and TV interviews on the stand - ranging from discussions about the NEC venue (random?) to a very personal in depth account of my fathers architectural background and Border Oak's bank balance. Of course we haven't seen or heard any of the interviews since. But I think the strangest was the man who told me he had been waiting for me for hours (I didn't know anything about it) and who told me I had a very serious face and that I didn't smile much and that it was quite depressing (for him?? what about me?!) I appreciated the advice, all pretty useful and he seemed like a nice man who's heart was in the right place - but it was a bloody radio interview.......
Show Story No 3
After a long day at the NEC we normally head back to the hotel and have a lemonade - and we usually meet the same group from PolyPipe who also stay at the same hotel each year. And they love to banter and crack a few jokes and tease us terribly about pretty much anything - but this year the funniest thing happened - and it may just be my cruel sense of humour that found it hysterical- when the boss of PP came to rejoin our group and sat down only to discover that there was no chair. You had to be there.
Most popular houses types 2010
1. Pearmain Cottage - but all sorts of variations (brick, stone, Arts and Crafts, single storey etc etc)
2. Large farmhouses - more organic and evolved looking than manor houses, but just as big
3. Weatherboarded barns - both vernacular and contemporary.
The most interesting element for me was that there was no 'outright' favourite house type - people seemed to love the idea of variety and flexibility - mixing different materials, using traditional proportions and blending 'modern' influences into the vernacular style.
Hopefully because we do so many different things and can use any construction discipline to best suit the individual circumstance it means our unique flexibility and 'complete build' package can deliver great bespoke solutions no matter where or what.
oh boy, what a long and rambling post?? Normal service resumes tomorrow? sorry!
p.s These are all just a few random pictures from my desktop - no particular theme or reason just houses we have recently built or are currently building.