Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Barbados Diary: Day 3: Wednesday 16th August 2006

You can see pictures of my mosaics on my website: www.martincheekmosaics.com
The Barbados work is shown on page:
www.martincheekmosaics.com/html/barbados_floor.html
Barbados Diary: Day 3: Wednesday 16th August 2006 A lot has happened today. I used my new bike to go down to the architect’s office, where I was able to get more copies of the shield template. I’ve had a few more ideas and want to get them down while they are fresh in my mind. I was told that the architect, will be back on Monday. It seems funny that the locals say “He’s off the island” to explain someone’s absence. As I sat down to do some work, the computer crashed. My first instinct was that the flight had kicked in and caused the damage that I was afraid of. I was able to get Ferdinand the IT guy that everyone uses here on Sugar Hill, to come out and fix it. When I described the problem over the phone he said that it sounded as tough my hard drive had gone, but it turned out to be one of the two internal memory cards. Removing the card fixed the problem but it means that I am now firing on one cylinder so to speak – I’ve lost half of my memory! This has slowed things down considerably – so I have to be extra patient when using the interne etc. now. Once you have experienced fast downloading it is very frustrating to have to wait! Once fixed, I still couldn’t manage to log on to the internet – but it turned out that the whole island was down – a problem with Caribserve, which occurs occasionally. By this evening all was well again though. On site today we started work on the fountains. The tilers name is Fajer, which I must admit is pronounced a bit like ‘fudger’ , but luckily he definitely doesn’t live up to his name. He is very precise and pedantic – asking me all sorts of questions. I don’t mind – better that than a speed merchant. He’s Syrian but has been here in Barbados for fourteen years. His son works with him – only temporarily, he will go to medical school soon – and wants to be a doctor. I joked that doing the angle grinding to cut the tiles would come in handy for when he becomes a surgeon. Fajer is quite bombastic and John doesn’t like being pushed around by him. John is extremely polite and at one point there was a slight scene, with John asking him to stop being so rude. The tiles are being stored in a huge container. It took three days to do the inventory and it turns out that the Mexicans have not sent the entire shipment. We laid out the fountain pinks – 5 different sheets which when laid together make a pretty blend with the dark pinks at the bottom and the softer iridescent whites at the top. Fajer made a big deal about which way round they go – he is very keen not to make a mistake – which is totally understandable. Both he and John are keen for me to take responsibility which is fine. I notice from looking back at the emails that it was exactly a year ago that I designed these mosaics. Looking at the fountain, I can see that it is going to look great and can’t wait to see it finished. The plan is that the fountains and master bathroom will get laid whilst I am here. Next out of the container came the leafy design. I was very keen to se this. There was a big ‘DO NOT OPEN’ sign on these boxes, but I’m sure that this was because of their fragility – so I gave the go ahead to open the first two boxes. The leafy design looks fabulous. The joins are staggered which is really important. My next task is to establish how many strips the Mexicans have made so that I can decide where they should go.

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