I am full of admiration for the English building team who have just finished a building project for me, for all we hear about poor education,lazy Brits etc etc, the one thing we do have is that entrepreneurial trait & spirit of adventure. What I have witnessed over the last few weeks has been a delight.

What started as an old wooden barn structure with small adjacent stone building sharing the same roof [ all very overgrown with ivy ] which desperately needed a complete renewal, has led to the barn & coal house being renovated & eventually transformed from a slate roofed open sided building to a closed dry store, studio & garden storage section.

The reason for my admiration is, the way three chaps, all cockneys, father 50 something, son & son in law can calculate intricate [metric] measurements in their heads,not on paper,though even that would impress me as someone who is not numerate.
When asked how they faired in maths at school,the father said he was in the bottom stream but top in math’s.
Son in law said he was good at figures because he’d helped from a very early age on his uncles barrow selling fruit & veg.
At school he enjoyed maths for which he was given an opt out of English lessons in favour of maths, apparently his teacher didn’t like him because he could do calculations which the teacher could not understand how he always came up with the correct answer despite not being able to show how he arrived at the answers.
Clearly the son has the same abilities.
I have joined them in their discussions,; marveled at their logic & problem solving, which happens daily on such a project & with what has turned out to be two buildings running off in different directions.
Nothing is square or in true alignment, which could be adjusted if we were using slates again but we are not as the fall is too shallow …….
They have all lived in France, for a number of years, the two wives are also involved in the business which includes a gardening section. Both couples have a lovely home.
This family is never without work , [ next job is for a sheiks chateau & then a Russian oligarch] & you know what ….. France is lucky to have them.
All three are a delight,not a radio or ‘builders bum’ in sight,they are polite to each other let alone me & I’ve heard the F word only a couple of times in four weeks…,but I doubt things will be any different by the time they leave.
They are the epitome of what can be done if you go with what you’re good at,work hard & have an adventurous spirit.

When are governments going to see this is what matters more than years wasted at university to gain some useless degree chasing Dandelion clocks?

Over the years I have employed every trade here, in the early years I always employed French labour, every time without exception I was disappointed with their lack of interest in their work & they don’t like challenges let alone working for a woman…..an English one at that !

Full story here……. :its-done

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