11th September 2020

When I was younger I possessed both an unnaturally good sense of balance and a wholly ridiculous belief in my capacity to avert a fall under all physical circumstances. Considerations of the spirit were of course an entirely different matter, my eventual downfall from bliss to purgatory was preordained and unquestionably deserved.

My ability to remain upright in the most troublesome circumstances naturally led my perverse character to test the ability at each and every opportunity, whether through the climbing of trees, walls, rockfaces or indeed just clambering upon any available precarious surface sufficiently  high above mother earth to present a challenge.  I cannot claim to have been a particularly brave risk taker, rather I was more inclined to put any god given ability to the question, and carefully attend how the die might fall.

On one particularly clear day I took it into my head to take to the rooftop of my home simply to espy all that such an advantageous view might present.  Access to  the large slate tiled expanses had been made conveniently easy by a series of ladders, thoughtfully provided by some trusty   artisans  repointing two older but still used  brick chimneys.

The panorama from that elevation was breathtaking, yet strangely my thoughts and imagination were far more taken and massaged by the two-dimensional geometry of the roofed expanse I now perched upon rather than the now highly visible picturesque dioramas. Thus began an intellectual and on occasion quite tactile fascination with all matters architecturally enveloping. Presumably, my passions might equally have been aroused by steeple jacking, including as it does long arduous and difficult assents to extraordinarily exposed locations, but somehow the added ingredient, the extra bonus of providing almost cavernous shelter made the art and practice of the roofer irresistible.

The process of working in but two dimensions I ever found particularly peaceful, my ability to perform any skills required to facilitate the mathematical and geometrical considerations without having to interrupt my philosophizing or day dreaming particularly satisfying. The occasional interruption of a three-dimensional object were admittedly momentarily irritating but in the grand scheme of all things architectural unavoidable. Thankfully, such protrusions tended to be minimal, and with the momentary exacting concertation and attention quickly and efficiently supplied tranquility and absentminded musing could earnestly recommence.  

Patently my days of traversing slope and counter slope, of walking eave and ridge are long passed, as indeed the extraordinary internal gyroscopic stability that allowed me to function so happily under obtuse and oblique circumstances. My passion for the craft however remains unadulterated, as indeed does my love of all the many skills and abilities it has been my constant joy to attempt, attain some proficiency, and on the extremely rare occasion master.

You will no doubt oft see me standing at the roadside staring upwards at an obtuse tangent, transfixed and beguiled. Fear not, it is but the ring of the roofers hammer calling from a rooftop.

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