Friday, October 16, 2009

Order from creative chaos

Six days to go now to the opening of the St David's Centre and each day sees new shop front signs going up along the Hayes. Work to complete all the paving, seats and finger posts, as well as tidy everything before next Thursday gets more and more intense.

Behind the Heras Fence on the corner of Treegar Street today, I photographed a young man at work hand finishing bolts to use in securing the glazing into the canopy over the shop fronts. He had a work table on which he had laid out neatly in rows, scores of sets of bolts with shiny chrome nuts at either end. Each section of canopy has half a dozen support struts, each requiring five bolts. One of his workmates saw me snapping away and asked what made this interesting enough to be subject of a photograph. I expressed my admiration for the orderliness of his labour, and explained that I had been documenting the whole project for three years - yes, three years this month.

His work table was of interest because behind the fence is an environment which to an outsider seems chaotic at first sight, because there aren't many normal expressions of neatness, except when materials are being bundled up for transport. It's not wholly untidy, however. That simply wouldn't be allowed, due to the demands of site safety. But with the working patterns of so many different activities going on alongside each other at the same time, it doesn't appear to be quite as organised as it really is. Only when jobs are done and the fencing is moved back to reveal acres of clear space and neatly mounted street furniture does a sense of order emerge from the chaos, that a by-stander can appreciate.

Publicity has started to appear for the the new city centre free circular bus service linking up the three new departure modes. I've been giving out leaflets to regulars at church this week to put them in the picture as soon as possible. As my supplies were low, with a Sunday distribution in mind, I went over to Southgate House after the lunchtime Eucharist to get some more, but they were out of them. Thankfully the Cardiff Bus ticket office on the opposite side of the street was able to oblige. Confusion about the location of departing buses has caused a fair amount of distress this past couple of months. Hopefully, when the new service starts on Monday next, a little order will spread into another area of peceived chaos.

I had news of Vanessa yesterday, who has arrived in Prstina with the aid convoy, the best part of a day late because of Balkan border delays. Apart from that all's well. They will be distributing aid packages for four days before their return journey begins.

With my preparations for the weekend done ahead of time, I set out for Kenilworth in daylight to visit my grand-daughter. She has recently started Suzuki violin lessons, and tomorrow has a morning workshop with other children. I so want to be there to delight in her participation in such an excellent form of musical pedagogy. It's a trip down memory lane really, as her uncle Owain was a Suzuki violin student over 25 years ago. All the basic repertoire of tunes in Book One is firmly part of my long term musical memory.

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