Call me stereotypical, but grace, poise and agility are not words I would normally associate with scaffolding or scaffolders.
Those cumbersome structures, that all too often invade every inch of pavement available, are more a hinderance than a work of art. Or so I thought.
For the past week, I’ve watched – with growing interest – an intricate scaffolding frame take shape around a decrepit old building (opposite the bus stop I wait at) to enable its much needed restoration. This metal cage is not particularly attractive, but the speed at which the structure evolved was nothing less than impressive.
Like tiny marbles in a real life game of kerplunk, the agile builders manoeuvre themselves and the cylindrical pieces, high in the air, spinning them like a drummer does his well-used drum sticks. Take away the building and you’re essentially left with a 3d M.C Escher.
But what caught my eye this morning, was the way in which one of the builders chose to ascend the structure not via the makeshift stairs, but arrive at the top (albeit, rather irresponsibly) with the speed and skill of a parkour pro. Gliding between each level with the weightlessness of an expert gymnast and elegance of a gazelle, he not only impressed us bystanders, but received a round of applause from his more safety conscious colleagues.
I’m in no way condoning his actions, but if there’s any way his scaffolder buddies could install a safety net, I’d be up for a daily front row seat at this very entertaining piece of performance art.
Eating lunch on the edge is so last century