by Jez Bond

I have recently been trying to maximise my time by not arranging single meetings on a day; either booking in multiple meetings or working from home exclusively – it’s far more economical in terms of both time (due to travel) and finance.

Today was a successful day full of meetings. Abi, who had assisted me previously had to stand down and the delightful Christina has taken over. Today was her first day as my assistant and I did warn her that it would be a bit of a baptism by fire!

In the morning I showed her around the site at the same time as Katy, the director of creative Islington. I pitched an idea for a Creative Islington tour/event in the shell of the building next year – something which we will discuss more in the months to come.

We then proceeded to the fifth floor of the Palace Theatre where we met with the team from What’s On Stage, who are keen to get involved with the development of the company. More of this to come no doubt. (Note: some interesting stories first hand about the rats in West End theatres!)

After a brief lunch we headed over to Paddington Green to see Charles Haines’ Skydeck product which had been installed by his firm Hall Stage at the new Westminster College Theatre. A tension wire grid system, Skydeck enables technicians to rig and focus lights and other equipment at high level without the need for ladders or tallescopes. It’s an amazing (yet relatively simple) technology and the main advantage is that increases productivity; allowing a crew to work on the stage level (erecting the set, painting etc) while the riggers are at high level – with nobody getting in the way of each other. It also removes the majority of the health and safety issues associated with working at height.

We’re definitely going for it – love the product and, crucially, Charles really seems to get what we are about and is keen to make it happen within our budget. He also has the rather lovely habit of responding to an email or phone call on the same day – which is sadly not true of a few companies I could mention!

We then had a great meeting with our structural engineer Paul who had solved many of the problems we were facing and who has come up with an economical design using as little steel as possible. In a couple of weeks we will have the full structural scheme with enough detail to have it (fairly) accurately priced.

Christina, head buzzing I’m sure, departed after a hectic day and I went to Soho (via a quick drink with Dave) to meet with Jules (see Monday’s blog) who kindly treated me to a Chinese meal.

On the way home now. No internet and not sure when TalkTalk are going to fix it! Almost incredible how much we rely on technology. Thank god for our iPhones and the new iPad, on which I am writing this blog, or there would be no way to respond to the thirty emails that have come in today and generally keep in touch with the big wide world! As proven it’s all about economy and productivity!

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