Working in construction I think I can get away with my obsession with tower cranes. I have no idea where it comes from. Maybe it goes back to the image of the New York workers sitting on a steel beam over the city. There’s something about tower cranes which just feels synonymous with prosperity.
I’ve been used to observing tower cranes around London. The habit of walking to familiar locations, marked by the skyline. The constant of cranes as buildings emerge from the ground and alter the view.
And now I’ve been able to witness the same in Cardiff.
For the past six weeks I have been enduring longer trips to London. And I really do mean enduring. I am used to the weekly journey but whilst the Severn tunnel has been closed for electrification works the diversion has put an hour onto my journey. It’s the hour which takes travelling from bearable to exhausting.
Part of this is caused by the waiting. My local train gets into Cardiff at 6.40, and whilst my ‘usual’ train would leave at 6.55 I’m now left waiting until 7.25 for a train.
And new habits form. I pick up a coffee and sit in the waiting room. And as dawn washes over so the city comes to life.
The reason I associate tower cranes with prosperity is that the construction industry is always the first to go into recession and the last to leave. Tower cranes means we are building, which means recession is a little further away.
And like prosperity, the first sign of a city coming to life are tower cranes moving.
As I sit with my coffee, and light takes over the city, so you can watch a solitary man climbing. I’m not sure if he’s stopping for breath at platforms or just absorbing the view. As he climbs I can’t help but think of this as a perfect job. Breathtaking views of my favourite city.
Then my practicality kicks in. He doesn’t appear to be carrying anything. What about food and drink? Dare I even think about other necessities?
And as the tower crane swings into life so the building begins. Concrete and steel moved to create structure storey by storey.
A city grows.