Times are clearly tough in the world outside the Buchanan estate.
After some reconstruction work in the village, the pavement
(sidewalk, to the colonists) was re-laid not with the traditional York
stone, but with - ileum dictu!! - concrete paving slabs. Can you
are simply beyond the pale (literally, in my case, of
course). They are dismal and drab and lower the tone. Knowing
that the economic climate is harsh, I put on my public-spirited hat
and told the local council that they were welcome to send their
masons to the small quarry on my estate, and take what they
needed. But they just looked at me strangely down the phone and
Fortunately, I have hit upon a compromise which should please
everyone. Concrete paving slabs are normally cast in moulds, which
can be embossed in a variety of ways. There is no reason, therefore,
why they cannot be embossed with letters, and indeed complete
text in large typeface.
Some of my maintainence men, therefore, have teamed up with a
former printer, and are currently setting "Buchanan's Guide to the
Moats and Ha-Ha's of England" in 145pt Times Roman. All 754 pages
of it, each in a 4ft x 2'6" format. We've had to leave out the pictures
for now, of course.
Once typesetting is finished, the slabs will be cast and offered to the
local council free of charge. The laying of these slabs along major
pedestrian thoroughfares will brighten the day of many local
inhabitants, whilst at the same time affording a non-slip surface.
If this is as successful as I expect, I hope that the Council will
consider undertaking the typesetting and printing of other exciting
books - possibly even works of fiction - in pavement format.
The challenge, of course, comes when dealing with intersecting
roads. However, I believe that we can commission one of the
popular writers of the day to create a story which is equally
meaningful regardless of the sequence in which the chapters are
read. Something like The Da Vinci Code, or any of the works of
Jeffrey Archer, would be a good starting point.
The scheme will particularly appeal to blind people who, with some
training and the removal of their footwear, will be able to read as
they walk along.