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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Such stuff as dreams...

Where is the life that late I led?
Where has it gone? Totally dead.
Where is the fun I used to find?
Utterly gone. Gone with the wind.

Courtesy Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate.

In fact the singer is mourning the passing of more fleshy pleasures. Common decency prevents me taking up that theme but once forklift trucks ran sex a very close second in my earlier life. To the point where I must call a pedantic intermission: these models belong to the genus, Truck, Forklift, but some (notably the orange to the right of the green on the upper row) are more precisely described as Truck, Reach. I could explain the difference but won't. This is a time for nostalgia, not nuts and bolts.

Once my life was governed by the practice (It isn't a science.) of logistics which I will also avoid defining other than to say it is at the heart of industrial efficiency. Forklift trucks (FLTs) are an important tool in ensuring good logistics. And away with the blackboard.

FLTs are made in a cluster of developed countries and their names may be faintly familiar to you: Yale, Caterpillar, Lansing-Linde, Mitsubishi, Rolatruc, Hyster, Fiat, Toyota, etc. I wrote about their differences and photographed their liveries. The work took me round the world, wasn't over-demanding and allowed me to believe - briefly - I left behind the spoors of an expert. Certainly I was remembered but that was because of my coarse Northern upbringing.

FLT manufacturers have pleasingly detailed models made for publicity purposes. My collection amounts to thirty. When Zach enters my atelier his eyes rise yearningly but on this matter - if on no other - I am briskly discouraging: no you can't, and that's that. They're part of my past fun.


  1. I envy you’re tangible reminders of some satisfaction with your career achievements both for their own aesthetics and for the intrinsic and unquantifiable value they have for you.

    On the whole I do not favour looking back too much, but it is the foundation for looking forward and should not be dismissed.

    Continuing a theme in comments on your previous post, as I was developing this comment I realised I have the makings of a post for myself, so for the moment I will say no more.

  2. Robbie: I like sets; sets of all kinds.

  3. Atelier. Oh la la! That's a fine collection. How about pallets? The platforms of standard size slotted to receive the forks of FLTs? You don't have a collection of those I suppose to go with the trucks. I served on a Government committee once to consider the formation of a national pallet pool (The pallets tended to end up in the wrong places costing industry millions of pounds a year). I had to sign The Official Secrets Act for the privilege. I dare say that I am now permitted to release this information, without threat of the tumbril.

  4. On further examination of your collection I see that you have a number of pallets. But do you have a pool?

  5. Sir Hugh: The models are die-cast and, therefore, precisely detailed. There's pleasure in that. They remind me indirectly of Bari (Italy), Wolverhampton, Mjöllby (Sweden), Paris, Leighton Buzzard, Hamburg. Amsterdam, Portland (Oregon, USA), Aschaffenburg (Germany) and Basingstoke, so there's a picture-postcard function. Of people I got on with. I can't say I'm lost in the past. What I'm doing now is far more important than what I did then.

    Tom: This gnomic utterance encouraged me to write another post which will appear tomorrow.

    Joe: If you double-click on the pic you will see the Yale (second from left, bottom row) has a single-deck non-reversible pallet on its lowered forks and the Jungheinrich (fourth from right, bottom row) has a similar pallet on raised forks. Both I suspect conform to Europallet dimensions which were becoming standard even in ass-dragging UK.

    No pool, Should I win the lottery I intended to have one, but it will be of a different sort.

  6. Mmm, but these aren't really sets as they are all one-offs.

    Perhaps you could set Zach to making some pallets out of old lolly sticks, then permit him a circumscribed period of time to play with them.

  7. Lucy: Re. sets. As I say (see Hoping to contain the world) it didn't matter.

    Pallets. Gosh, you have been paying attention.

  8. I quit...these aren't even tractors.