A little high on the fumes


Is this:
a. the top of Tower 42
b. how not to put up scaffolding
c. a model of a hand crank attached to a cardboard tube

As I may have mentioned, if I could come back and do it all again, and by ‘all’ I mean remake the random decisions that I made at 13 as ‘to what I wanted to be’ thus setting the parameters for most of my subsequent decisions for the next ten years, then I would have chosen to do maths and be an engineer. I have very little understanding of what an engineer does, but I suspect that they would be the practical types who when confronted with a cardboard tube would know how to make it roll without touching it, and would be able to fashion some sort of a device.

I’m waist deep in Ideas for Experiments, the education project that I lead with Judith Brocklehurst at the Camden Arts Centre, and this week’s workshop hinges on this. The idea is that if we can get a tube to turn mechanically, then we could place a loop of film that we have made over it, and watch it back. I blame Judith for this as this is child’s play for her (no pun intended). This week she made, in about 12 minutes, the electrical version of this by creating an attachment for a drill out of a cardboard tube, a cube of plywood, and a bolt and nut. And it was pretty. Unfortunately, 5 hours later, the above drawn in permanent marker, is the best that I’ve got to contribute.

It’ll be an interesting day.


  1. It’s snowing outside. It’s been snowing since I woke up and that was over seven hours ago. I can’t remember when it snowed this long.
  2. By the way, I live in London and have spent most of my life in this city. This is for anyone from the rest of the world who is thinking, ‘that ain’t that long.’
  3. While not relevant to the topic above, notes about the weather is the sort of local colour that I’ll think we’ll appreciate if we’re reading this post in the summer.