We’re going to get a proper crane!


That corner of the site is about the only bit that isn’t going to have part of a building on it. I think it’s supposed to be some sort of paved area.

If so, what are the realistic odds of it being either

  1. the best supported piece of pavement ever created, or
  2. the foundations for a fixed tower crane.

Personally, I’m betting on number 1. Far more likely.

P.S. The Folly is living up to its name, as we all knew it would. I have so far seen anyone crossing over it once, all the builders just walk along Salisbury Road. The latest cabins have even been put as close to Salisbury Road, and as far away from The Folly, as possible. I wonder how much money was wasted building it?

What’s this strange thing?


It looks vaguely familiar.
I think I’ve seen one of these before somewhere.
I’ve pretty darned certain I read about them in a book once at school.
Short word.
Might start with ‘H’.
It’s on the tip of my tongue…

If I stand in the middle of it, and you others all hold down the fencing in case it gets breezy again, I’m sure the word will come to me.

I’m remembering a sort of ‘O’ sound…

Nah, let’s get some tea instead.

What happens if you drill too far?

This is a serious drill.
(Ed — it’s an auger, surely?)


Now that’s going to make a pretty deep hole, by anyone’s standards.

So what happens if you drill too far? What comes out?
Your options are

  1. Water
  2. Oil
  3. Molten rock
  4. Australians

Your answers on a postcard, please. As in all good competitions, everyone entering stands a chance of winning a £10 Amazon gift voucher*.

To prove it does actually go as deep as you think, here’s it just before it gets to the bottom.


Not a lot of drill-bit left.

It’s quite a cool machine. First it drills the hole, then the concrete factory on the far end of that hose starts up:


The hose is connected to the top of the drill-bit (Ed – “auger”, I keep telling you!) which is hollow. As the bit is screwed back out the ground, the concrete is pumped out the bottom end of the bit, filling the hole with concrete.

To polish it off, there are 2 sets of rotating brushes in front of the cab that scrub all the mud off the bit as it comes out. Nice clean drill bit! (Ed — “auger”, FFS!)

*An extremely small chance, much less than 1 in the-number-of-people-who-enter. But a chance, nonetheless.

P.S. Now you can’t un-see that photo either. Don’t blame me, blame Twitter. If it’s going to be stuck in my head forever, it’s going to be stuck in yours too.

Piles. And signs. Again.

I promised you all some more details about piles.
(Ed — no, not that kind of piles, that kind of piles)

But like all people, the builders clearly spend most of their time staring at the ground 2 feet in front of them.

So they need lots of signs like this:


My apologies for the quality (or lack thereof) of the photo above. It’s a really small sign.

Because if you didn’t carefully read the signs, you would understandably miss this


in front of you.

After all, without the signs the builders might be able to sue someone when they walk across the site and smack straight into that teensy weensy pile driver.

Mind you, students would still walk into it as they would be staring at their phones full time. But you would at least have the fun of tripping up those who walked into the signs instead. I think we need more signs. I think we need a version of that photo with students zombies marching across it.

Sad baby cement mixer

Long time readers will remember the brave lonesome cement mixer that had the mighty job of producing all the cement and concrete for the entire building.


The little dear was feeling really proud that it had been given such a huge job.

Well today, dear reader, they have stabbed it in the back.
Out of working hours, nonetheless!

This monster just showed up to steal all its thunder!


Note that it does of course take 3 guys to stand and watch. I guess the guy in yellow is more important.

And yes, the guy at the back of the photo is indeed praying to the God of Gravel.

Burying the bodies

Last week, our ace roller-driver made the entire site look like a bowling green (or was that croquet lawn? I forget now…). As a reminder, here he is at an early stage of the ironing:


And the watering-the-ground bloke had a pretty much permanent job. He was watering the ground so slowly that it was evaporating as fast as he could water it. Fortunately water’s cheap; he might as well as have been just spraying it into the air. And he was totally failing to make any decent quantity of mud, though that was presumably the main aim.

Well, after last night’s storm(s) I think they probably have enough mud for quite a while. The drainage of that site is remarkably good, and it didn’t flood at all. Not even the mass graves they dug yesterday!

Presumably for the sole reason of pissing off the roller guy, they dug up the exact bit of ground he’s carefully ironing in the photo above!


So much for colleagues appreciating the effort you put into your job. I’m sure ironing building sites is a very respected profession, and his work mates really don’t seem to care.

Their organisation is pretty impressive though. None of this “randomly toss the bodies into the hole” lark that the amateurs do. No, these guys have installed a flight of stairs so they can carefully position each body for maximum capacity. That’s what I call attention to detail.

Presumably by the end of the week they’ll have their (by then probably depressed) workmate come and iron it all flat again.

Other than that, most of the current “activity” is almost everyone else doing the arduous job of standing around with their arms crossed while watching the digger move mud around. That must be truly exhausting.

Dig them. Fill them. Dig them…

23 Jun 2017

They’re bored of their shiny red fencing already. They’ve filled in all the holes they dug yesterday.

The great bit is that what you see there as the ground level isn’t. The actual ground level of the building is 10 feet lower down. So they keep beautifully smoothing out the site every time they leave a tyre track mark on it. What they haven’t realised yet is they have to dig out the entire site to a depth of 10 feet before anyone can build anything.