Working on a Building Site

Don’t think for one minute that mixing cement, carrying wood and lifting heavy materials in the rain
was my childhood ambition. Decisions lead to certain circumstances and, like it or not, action has to
be taken if goals are to be reached.
Quite simply I had too many gaps on my CV. Too many trips abroad and too many office jobs that
lasted only a few short months. I was a bad risk to prospective employers, so, I turned my hand to
more physical labour.
I actually really enjoyed my time in construction. I spent 4 months doing heavy labour on a building
site in Central London and 6 months building houses in the suburbs.
The job in Central London was very close to Holborn Station in the City. And, as luck would have it,
right opposite my parents’ sandwich bar, so lunch was free and hot tea and biscuits just a stone’s
throw away. I was very popular with my co-workers and I loved the hard physical work and the
friendship and banter with the other guys.
I made good friends at the second job, too. The only part I didn’t like was working with the crane
operator in the afternoons when he would come back drunk from the pub. I would be attaching the
chains on the ground and he was driving the crane 50 feet up in the air, drunk! More than once he
nearly took my head off with swinging blocks of wood, metal or brick.
One day I forgot my packed lunch. It had been raining and I’ll never forget the image of my mum
walking through the mud and the dirt of a building site in her high-heel shoes with my lunch box in
one hand a flask of tea in the other shouting my name. My mates on the site never let me forget it!

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