This should probably be called ‘A Labourer’s Blog’ considering that the writer hasn’t endured such an onslaught of physical duress since working in the sawmill at Glennister’s furniture factory back in his hometown many years ago, after his school impolitely asked him to leave.
The employment at the furniture factory involved clambering over huge felled trees and wrapping chains around them so they could be lifted into place on a crane and made into planks on a giant circular saw.
At least there I had the compensation of sheltering in the boiler-room and drinking hot tea during breaks.
Actually, I was following a family tradition since my great-grandfather worked as a sawyer in the beech woods around south Buckinghamshire in the 1800s. He was a top-dog, which is to say he sawed from the top of the sawpit and so avoided the sawdust falling down all over him.
The sawpits he dug and used are still visible up in the woods around Piggot’s Hill, at the end of the Hughenden valley, where the Ridgley family reunion takes place every year in the property once belonging to Eric Gill – the famous British artist commissioned by the BBC to create the Prospero and Ariel sculpture for their London headquarters in 1933 – who maintained an artists’ colony there from 1928 onwards.
A few years ago my father and I were taking a walk through the surrounding fields up from the Harrow pub overlooking Bryant’s Bottom when a big white van roared through an opening and pulled up menacingly before us. Some guy got out and asked what we were doing there, saying that his employer’s residence on the hill opposite had been spied out and robbed by “gypsies” recently.
This was just utterly typical of the area where I had once lived so joyously. Some parvenu twat had bought a place for x-million pounds on a hillside where you couldn’t even plant a garden and had turned into a paranoid freak thinking that an old man and his son who actually belonged to the area were out there planning to rob him.
All this kind of shit is part and parcel of why I have left the now horrible land known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in order to set up some kind of bucosmic existence in a different country.
Even here there is similar aggro (to be told later).
But for now, hard labour is the order of the day.
And, by the way, Glennister’s folded back in the 1990s, a symptomatic outcome of the monetarist policies which led to the outsourcing of labour to foreign countries for the sake of greater profit. So much for the UK. Now a Morrison’s supermarket stands in its place.
As a matter of fact, there is no more furniture industry in my hometown. The whole story is contained in a ten-part fictional series available by clicking below.
Books available by Glyn F Ridgley at bookstores and Amazon