Although those who know me know I’m no fan of team sports, I must share this news item about the “World Cup Fan Park” in Manchester, built on a former Granada Studios site:
Just below the last big picture in the article is a reference to aromas being pumped around the arena. Below are a couple of photos of the (partly-completed) machines they will be using; I’ve just spent the last 7 days working non-stop with the designer to build them. Each has a fan pumping air down four tubes fitted with solenoid-controlled shut-off dampers and each tube is filled with a cartridge impregnated with the scent of cut grass, roast beef or whatever.
Working like maniacs we got the machines completed yesterday with about an hour to spare and drove them to Nice airport. They arrive in Manchester tomorrow and are due to go operational on Thursday. I’ve never worked on a project with such a tight deadline – some would say impossible – and it gives me great satisfaction to know that without my help they’d still be sitting uncompleted in a back yard in Dolceacqua.
So this is what I left Coventry for. It’s the kind of work I was doing 40 years ago and I actually enjoy it quite a bit. Working with real tools – screwdriver, wire strippers, soldering iron – makes a change from sitting at a computer and I’d forgotten how physically tiring it can be. Though maybe it wasn’t 40 years ago when I was still young. Most people wouldn’t recognize it as any kind of definition of “retirement” but I didn’t sign up for endless golf or lying about on a sun-lounger all day. Work of this kind comes in intermittent bursts so there’s little chance of dying of boredom and it makes a great change from building websites and writing these blogs.
To make life even more interesting we’ve recently had a furious round of social events, either entertaining at home or going out somewhere. Tonight was a personal invitation to a cocktail party at the Metropole Hotel, a superb establishment in the middle of Monaco next to Casino Square. The event was held to celebrate a recent redesign at that august institution. Sounds like the usual rub-shoulders-with-the-rich exercise, and yes, I suppose it was, but I rather like the Metropole; undeniably grand but with a real family atmosphere. I hear it’s a prized place to get a job and I’m not entirely surprised; the staff seem very happy and relaxed. The champagne and food flowed all evening and was of a standard way above the usual dreary canapés found at lesser events all over town. Why were we invited? Well, because we’re press. We’ve been keeping The Riviera Woman running for over 7 years and have always been fair to people instead of indulging in the more usual media snide and celebrity-chasing.