Brendan was one of those things that when said always needs clarification. He was a small builder. His six foot plus on a large frame and large worked-with hands clarifies that he was not small in stature. His was a self-employed builder who carried out renovation and small extension works and the size of his enterprise was never very big.
Brendan served his time. He learnt at the hand of a qualified carpenter for years. On an awkward timber roof, I would trust his judgement ahead of many university qualified engineers.
He studied the drawings. He understood what had to be done. He then went ahead and did it. In doing it, he was neat, clean, and tidy. There was never a sense of rushing or panic.
One day I met Brendan and was surprised to see him in working clothes as it was what was designated a builders holidays when many of the building companies closed.
I did pose the obvious question and was told that ‘that was only for the real builders, not for the likes of me’.
Every construction project now must have SOP’s (safe operating procedures) and SWP’s (safe working platforms) as well as H&S Plans, not to mention Assigned Certifiers. The forms and regulations now in place would majorly restrict the amount of time Brendan could enjoy himself some tools in his hand - timber being preferable to paper.
Those years working with his master did provide him with that precious commodity, a commodity that is rarer than many think.
Brendan had an amount of Common Sense. He was expert at using it – not just in construction but in life.
Without checking the regulations or the procedures, he, and those of his training, knew what was the safe and correct thing to do.
Rules and regulations can be ignored or have a blind eye turned. Common Sense is inbred.
Standing there today, taking this video, I was thinking that this was not the way that Brendan would have done that job of work.