Friday, 4 November 2011

PJ's

PJ's:
Way back when, when I used to work in a busy architects practice in the city, I'd often stay late or at weekends and work on my own little projects for 'fun'. Test shots I used to call them. I'd model up buildings on the Macs and do little animations of space stations, jumping Pixar lamps and other useless activities (I do this for a living now).

Ker-ching!!££$$
In the evenings and especially at weekends, I would often see some of my colleagues skulking around the office furtively tapping away at thier computers or loitering around printers which were kicking out huge sheets of paper containing plans or elevations of some architectural scheme. Thier own 'private' schemes. This sneaky nocturnal activity was commonly known in the trade as doing a 'PJ' or 'private job' and many an architectural practice has begun life via pilfering work away from the mother company as employees set-up on thier own, I can tell you.

PJ's:
I'm wearing pj's now. It's 3.30 am and I can't sleep. I've had one of those disturbing dreams that keep you awake long after you've forgotten what the dream was about. Which I have. Pj's were part of the dream though - hence the post (hopefully a boring enough post that it'll make me sleepy again). My pyjamas tonight consist of some long green tartan 'bottoms' made of brushed cotton (very warm) and a long-sleeved t-shirt. (Yawn).

Donald where's me troosers?
Not so warm though that I'd want to go out into the night in them to feed the chickens, like some people in North Wales often do (I'm sure there's some sort of law against indecent exposure).

PJ's:
When I first got my plot on the allotment site, I once made a few fake big cat prints in the mud as a 'practical joke', just to watch the old boys start thier own rumours and folklore about the huge predator prowling around the countryside. To this day they are still talking about the big cat. I'll have to create some more tiger prints soon.

Which reminds me of an incident a few years back. I'd driven to pick up a job in an area around the town of Leek in Staffordshire, which is near to the Peak District National Park. It's fairly hilly around there and the roads are twisty and turny. This particular road was cut into a hillside and was reasonably quiet. I remember coming around a bend and having to stop at a set of temporary traffic lights for some road-works. There were two cars in front of me, then a space of about 75 yards (the road-works) before the stopped cars at the lights on the other side of the road. As I pulled up behind the two cars in front of me, I wound down the window and waited for the lights. During the pause between traffic, a huge jet black Leopard lept up onto the dry-stone wall on the left, jumped down onto the road in front of us and in two long bounds had cleared the road, hopped onto the opposing stone wall and off down the slope.

Here kitty kitty...
As I got out of the car, incredulous, I watched amazed, as others got out of thier vehicles to try and catch a glimpse of the cat running into the trees, mouths gawping...

(Yawns) F**k me, it's time to get up!!!

36 comments:

Tom Stephenson said...

Serves them right - most architects get students to do all their work for them anyway, don't they? I know Buro Happold did. So you keep chickens as well as big cats?

Calling Ravens said...

I am so jealous!!! Of the leopard encounter.
Okay, about the pajama bottoms too. Love plaid flannel.
Well, welcome mon ami, to the 3AM club. Good to see you, pull up a hot chocolate or herbal tea, if that's your fancy.
I have to finish writing a long email to a friend, ahem, but then I hope to blog about encountering a heron standing in the middle of the road whilst on the way home from work yesterday.
You'd like it here... the young girls wear their pajamas to WalMart.
xx

Chris said...

Tom - cheap labour. Part 3 students do a lot of the architectural donkey work. It's a right of passage...

Meggs - There have been so many reports of big cats in the UK and yet nobody has yet caught one or even taken a decent photo as yet. There have been many reports of a leopard (black panther) around the Leek area for so long it's possibly part of a breeding pair. Now there's a thought...

Chris said...

PS - Pj's to Wall Mart eh? What time's the next flight to NM?

Pear Tree Log said...

I'll listen out for the tiger story making the news!! Just don't do it wearing your pj's.

Calling Ravens said...

Anytime. But you will be in charge of keeping the fire going.
I forgot to make a comment on your dirty trick (said affectionately) with the cat tracks--I did love it!!
I found it so interesting that in Illinois the state government denied releasing "cats" despite numerous sightings. When I moved out here as worked in conservation, it was common knowledge that "cats" indeed had been and still were being released.
It's wild [pun intended] to think of Big Cats in England. I always picture England as being immensely overcrowded (as opposed to rural UK).
And speaking of rurual UK, Hell's bells! Can you imagine what that would do to John if he went running out after what he thought was badger and met up with the glowing eyes of a black panther?

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Interesting tales! BTW, the first name I drew for that diaper rash spray giveaway was you, but since you said you no longer wore diapers I drew again. LOL.

John Gray said...

now I enjoyed that!
ok you tip toed into tom s territory with the anacdote but it was entertaining nontheless

as for big cats
pah!
you all don't know what real fear is!!!

I'll tell ya

Real fear is not a black panther hell no

real fear is being a gay man in north wales BEFORE waitrose was opened in Menai Bridge

that's what real fear is!

John Gray said...

ps your pjs will go well with your complexion

Texan said...

Well the young girls and um not so young lol wear PJ's to walmart too here. Not me but some do LOL... Never have figured that out. House shoes as well, what is with wearing house shoes as regular shoes? Seems to be a trend here right now. LOL

Chris said...

PTL - No tiger would be seen dead with that tartan hanging in shreds from its mouth.

Meggs - Britain IS overcrowded. Only a matter of time before someone stumbles into one of these cats (with the enevitable outcome). I think John's worst fear is coming across a Beaver (pun intended)

Lisa - Nooooooooo. My diaper rash has recently returned!!!!

John - 'The only Ocado van delivery in the village' (speak this with a camp welsh accent)x

If you look really loooooong and hard at the tartan picture you can start to see the word...bollocks!

Chris said...

Tex - there were recent reports of people being banned from supermarkets here because they were 'inappropriately attired'. I know John has to have a Waitrose delivery nowadays...

Molly said...

Chris that 'B' word on your tartans, my worst nightmare. Wash my mouth out

Chris said...

Molly - what have you started?!! ;-)

Jim said...

Chris, what is your drug of preference? Big Cat indeed!

Trish said...

Love the PJs.
Big black cat/panther seen in Norfolk by my husband, oh yes, they are about!
Sleep well.

Chris said...

Jim - What have you got? Maybe it was the altitude...

Trish - You have to see things like that to believe they are there. Something 'other' right there amongst us. And boy, they are there alright.

Nighty night Trish. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Cro Magnon said...

I was offered a place to study architecture when I left school. In an interview with the principal, he said 'Don't think you're going to be designing multi-million pound houses for your fancy xxxxx friends; architecture is all about sewers and drains!'

I told him to eff off.

Samantha said...

We have rumors of mountain lions further downstate..no proof, but folks are adamant!

I don't think I would leap out of my car to catch a glimpse, crazy man!

Rebecca said...

My neighbor swore that there was a mountain lion on our property--pretty cool if there was, but I have my doubts... I have seen a bobcat though, but they look more like an overgrown-tailless cat--a black leopard would be much more exciting :) I'm dreaming of a greenhouse made out of old/salvaged windows... I have a fear that it's going to look like a greenhouse made out of old windows.-ha! On your next sleepless night, maybe you could do an architectural PJ on recycled greenhouses... Take care-get some sleep :)

Chris said...

Cro - to be fair that was probably Sir Edwin Lutyens you were talking to.x

Sam - Those would be the folks with the claw and teeth marks that stumble out of your woods. lol.

Becks - There is a theory here that the big cats that (definitely Jim) live in the UK countryside are the decendants of animals released into the wild during the 1970's. Stringent new laws were passed about the keeping of dangerous animals and many owners of these 'pets' decided they would rather release them into a nearby field or forest than see them pace up and down in a concrete zoo.

Weird really since they were kept before on diamond leashes and luxury white shag pile carpets.

I have seen a greenhouse like this and it was very unique looking but worked like a treat. Be careful with all that glass! :-0

terrycardiff said...

Still warm enough in Cardiff to sit in the garden with me laptop when I cannot sleep (in PJ's mind you, I am from the north)....drives the cat mad though - he paces up and down, waiting for me to 'get back in'

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

I remember reading about that panther!
Ahhhh I'd love to have done architecture...I love design and I love buildings but sadly cannot draw. Stick figures perhaps?

Where are your bees Chris!!

Chris said...

I've seen your PJ's Tezza - I hope nobody saw you in the garden in that andypandy outfit!

Chris said...

Most of the architects I know can't either Missus.

Sshhh. Don't mention the bees!!!

Steve Bailey said...

I prefer PT's... or you might know them as Pajama Thongs.... so comfy!!!!

rangewriter said...

Oh my, I was awake at 3 AM this morning, too. Well, not your 3 AM, but my 3 AM. But, lacking nice warm PJ's, I snuggled deeper into bed. Thank you very much, I didn't have any such scary kitty kat nightmares as yours! Holy s---that puddy's got an arm in it's mouth.

Did you really see a panther or are you just yanking our arms? That would be a life time event for me, and should it ever happen, I would hope to be in my car when it did.

Amanda ~ Blue LaReve said...

That is a fantastic practical joke! I think it's time for more big cat prints again.

(Free shirts? I'm on the next flight to London!)

Chris said...

Steve - comfy - yes(?) warm - debatable...

Linda - Totally true. Very surreal though. I see a lot of strange things quite often. Every morning infact when I look in the mirror.

Amanda - They will be in a black dustbin liner. I'll attach a big label saying 'Amanda's Shirts'. Just ask one of the armed police surrounding it...;-)

Crow said...

I hope your diaper-rash heals up soon Chris. Perhaps sleeping bottomless, might help cure it? :-O

Chris said...

Crow - kinky.

Crow said...

Ha-ha! Not kinky, just skyclad. Then there will be nothing between you and the stars. ;-)

Mitch Block said...

I don't know how I've been missing your posts recently... but, now I'll catch up. Love the idea of the big cat prints. If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to try a different pair of PJs. Sorry, but those green tartans would keep ANYONE awake!

Melodie said...

That is weird I have missed your last couple of post too..hmmm. Panthers,I didn't know you all had those over there! They will eat you ya know!So be careful about those pajama clad midnight chicken feedings O.K.!

acuriouscure said...

My pjs are a ratty old t-shirt that I refuse to give up. Nightlife at an architectural sounds different than I'd imagined. I thought all the architects went home and it was the squares and drafting tables and such coming to life and partying till the wee hours. And a black leopard??! In the U.K.? You're just full of surprises over there, Chris.
It made me think though. Once I was hiking up in a remote area in the mountains with my five year old daughter and our dog when we came across a mountain lion. The dog saw it first. He was in front of me and stopped dead in his tracks with all the hair standing up on the back of his neck, then he backed up until he was pressing against my legs. When I looked over to where he was looking I saw a large, tawny shape step back and disappear into the bushes around a large pine tree. It was only about thirty feet away from us. My heart started pounding as I knew that mountain lions are very attracted to the voices of small children and will usually go after them first. Fortunately, I was carrying my daughter up on my back, and we started backtracking until we were over a hill and then hightailed it back to camp. Looking back now the cat was probably just curious. But it still might have attacked my daughter had she been down on the ground and easy to get to. Very scary experience!!

Chris said...

Crow - If the recession keeps going then there really WILL be nothing between my lilly white ass and the stars, lol.

Mitch - Don't worry mate, you're not missing much!

Melodie - Our UK wildlife don't like to eat anything too fatty - so I'm fairly safe :-)

Dia - That sent prickles up my spine. It's a whole other story when you're with someone else. I get anxious with my pooch around other dogs, heaven knows how I'd be with a child when faced with a cougar! You are very brave (I'm just stupid).