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  • Writer's pictureStuart Champion

My other woman

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

I have to admit to a second fault.

Yes, I know I've already confessed to the fault of Over-Engineering, and you doubt whether there can be any others, but I do have a slight tendency to Underestimate the Scale of a project.

The railings are a case in point.

'How difficult can it be to throw together a few meters of handrail for the garden?' I asked myself.

'Quite difficult,' was the reply, if the quotes for 23 meters of bespoke railing were anything to go by. Before you ask, I have got it right with 23 meters. I would refer you back to previous posts - The Over-Engineered Hanging Gardens of Babylon aren't a small scale project.

Having absorbed the quotes, checked to see if they'd put a decimal point in the wrong place and then re-checked the length required, I came to the obvious conclusion.

Buy the railings from China.

Thus started a whole new chapter in my life.

I placed a request onto a Chinese buying site and was mildly surprised at the number of responses. Who knew there were quite so many companies in China interested in exporting metal railings to Hemel Hempstead?

Also, who knew there would be quite so many people addressing me as "My Dear"?

Here is an example from my new friend, Connie:-

'Hello My Dear,

I am most excited that you want to bring your business to SHhandrail Company. My dear send me dimensions and a drawing of you and I will send a quote. What type of fitting do you want to be made from. Tell me my dear.

Meery christtmas


Thus began a whole round of correspondence with Connie and others which reached such epic proportions that I had to put a chart on the wall to keep track of which companies I was getting quotes from, who had what drawings and what part of the process we had reached.

But of all these people Connie has maintained a special place in my heart.

Even though she knows the railing has been manufactured on site and installed, Connie still writes.

Here is a picture I sent to Connie:-

The railing picture I sent to Connie

While all the other companies eventually fell by the wayside, Connie still writes.

My latest came just the other day.

'Hello my dear,

How are you it is Connie from SHhandrail Company and you are very dear to us all.

Happy New Year.

It is the year of the pig.

Tell me what you want from us.


Next I need to explain how simple a task it was designing, buying the materials and manufacturing the railings on site.

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