I’m going to be on the plinth!

Life It’s half past two this afternoon. I'm at work. My mobile phone rings. My mobile phone never rings when I’m at work. It caught me unawares. I dash somewhere private.
“Hello, is that Stuart?”
“Hello this is [name redacted] from One & Other.”
“Oh, um, err, hello.”
“Hello, yes, a slot has opened up on the 10th August at 9am and we wondered if you could make it.”
“Oh, um, err. Actually, that’s a bit early ….”
“I don’t know if I can make that. It’s a bit early – I don’t think I could get there in time. Um, can I say no?”
“Oh. Oh right. Oh ok. Thanks anyway.”
“Take care.”

My work colleagues asked who it was. I told them. What, they said, stay overnight, you can't not do that. I know but it’s hard to get to. Oh well I suppose. Oh shit. I check my mobile. The office number is still in the memory.

“Hello [name redacted].”
“Oh hello, this is Stuart you just phone me about the plinth. Is that [name redacted].”
“Oh no I’ll put you through.”
I wait.
“Hello this is [name redacted].”
“Hello, this is Stuart. You just phoned about the plinth slot. I was just wondering if it would be possible for me to change my mind.”
“Oh erm, yes. Which slot where you?”
”August 11th, 9 in the morning.”
“I don’t have an empty slot …”
“Sorry, August 10th.”
“Oh yes, there you are. Right, I’ll send you a confirmation email.”
“Thanks! Sorry about before I was in the middle of something and I wasn’t quite prepared for…”
“That’s ok.”
“Take care.”

People who’ve known me for any kind of extended period will know I have a habit of doing that, find reasons not to do something before pushing myself to do them for the good ones and this is a very good one.

I’m going to be on the plinth! In Trafalgar Square. As part of Antony Gormley's One & Other. August 10th, 9 in the morning.

Here is my profile. The photo will look very familiar to some of you, but despite the crooked smile and three o'clock shadow it’s the best one I have.

People tend to say two things. Wow, congratulations and what are you going to do?

I still have a couple of weeks but I think I’m probably going to simply enjoy the experience; contrary to what you might assume I’m not really an exhibitionist, I don’t have the brass balls to hold a placard with the words “I’m glad Ianto’s dead” or whatever as was suggested to me earlier on Twitter.

I’ve seen enough of the archived videos to recognise the number of people who’ve tried something but it’s gone horribly wrong and then they have the rest of the hour to contemplate their failure or it’s a single idea which they then have to spin out for the excruciating sixty minutes.

I think I’m probably just going to write a blog entry (long hand) about what it feels like to be up there, take some pictures, perhaps read my book. My methodology has always been, keep it simple, and that sounds like the way to go here.

At least I think it is. Up until now.

The other by-product is that I’m going to be in London for a few days and I’ll be able to visit some of the parts of Shakespeare’s life that weren’t in Stratford, amongst other things. That should be good for a few hundred blog entries at least.


  1. Ian Jones9:25 pm

    Blimey. Well done Stuart! I'll definitely pop by and, erm, discreetly shout my support or something. Just as long as you do something more than simply sit there and write. You can do that any time!

  2. True, but I like the idea of just doing what I'd do anyway, except on a plinth in the middle of Traflag Sq.

  3. That sounds awesome! I'll definitely be watching via the web. Oh, and glad to see you got a satisfactory reply to "Pizzagate."

  4. Maybe you could cook a pizza up there ?

  5. If the weather is hot enough, I suspect I'll bake myself.