Saturday, 28 November 2009

London oaks in Winter

This week has seen the UK racked with wind and rain and in North London we didn't entirely escape its effects. Mid week saw us ( Nicola, Myself and five employees at Cox Workshops) racing around our industrial unit with buckets, brushes and mops to prevent an impending flood. The huge double roof on the workshop gathered enough water in 10 minutes of rain to create Niagra falls from the central guttering. Fortunately being a metal workshop nothing was lost bar a few bags of plaster in the shell making room. The team pulled together and the excess water was scooped off the workshop floor in varying ingenious ways and we returned to work in the afternoon. Andy and I spent a sodden hour on the roof the next day unblocking down pipes and freeing the guttering from Autumn leaves.
Being business owners has had its challenges over the last 4 years but where a flood might have been seen as a disaster for us 4 years ago, on Wednesday it seemed like a mere inconvenience when compared to much tougher challenges in hand.
Next year Nicola and I intend to focus the creative side of the business and push Cox Workshops to the next level, producing a unique and dazzling range of products for the interior design trade whilst strengthening our existing bespoke design, consulting and manufacture processes. Needless to say it is taking a lot of time and energy. Something Doug said (Honey Creative)hit home this week-It has taken them 50K to win several awards this year-all important awards for their marketing business. The moral artisan in me says paying out to get yourself in the running for awards and therefore the public eye is not the artists way. Neither is right that a massive pool of talent and great craftsmanship should be working away without the the recognition it deserves. In short, like the Bauhaus at the turn of the century, Cox Workshops now needs good commercial success in order to survive and flourish and we are gonna get it whatever it takes!

As winter draws in we have lit our first log fires at home this week. Being vehemently opposed to the aesthetic of modern double glazing we can still hear and occasionally feel the cold winter wind rattling around our Victorian sash windows. The last of the leaves have now been blown from the bows of the ancient oaks in or park. Our view of the Park and of Bruce Castle is the main thing that keeps us here in Tottenham -we have often walked the dogs in the park and have always been awestruck and inspired by the huge 500 year old oak in the middle. When we discuss moving elsewhere in the city, we start to appreciate our view, the free parking right outside the door,the garage/garden and short travel time to work; it takes us 5 minutes by car or half an hour if we walk the dogs across Tottenham marshes. It seems that home is here for a little longer until perhaps circumstance necessitates change. I hasten to add that circumstances change from day to day around here!