The Mexican Andy Moss picked up Martijn Rijerse from the airport expecting a short and rude Dutchman with a dark complexion, ready to drive for one unbearable hour to Liverpool where we were to make a sculpture in collaboration with TATE Liverpool’s Picasso exhibition organised by Walk the Plank. Instead, The Mexican found Martijn to be polite, reserved, tall and fair. I am glad to say that this facade doesn’t last long and is occasionally shattered as Martijn has some form of mild torrets, some say that he is autistic, others say that he just has a very complex humour; either way he cannot help himself from saying what should not be said. When I noticed a cut on a friends hand a few months ago, Martijn asked him “Was that a leaving present from your wife?” Our friend was in the process of getting a divorce. But other than that he’s an exceptionally nice person. Unfortunately for him we had spent last week in Scotland with the indefatigable and exceptionally talented Dan Glover and The Mexican could not stop reminiscing about our ‘working holiday’ in Scotland with him. Martijn had a lot to live up to and I was quick to dub him Number Two.
It soon became clear however that this was not going to be the case. Martijn in small doses began to reveal his humour and charm our moustachioed Mexican with his dry wit. On my complimenting Martijn on his knowledge of form making he casually brushed aside my comment and announced simply “It’s the basics Jamie, the basics.” I from that moment lost all credibility with my team and am now know as The Amateur. I have been doing this for seven years now, but there is always something to be learnt from a Trojan like Martijn whose incredible skill is born of 13 years in the sand carving business. There is a hint of talent there as well.
Even Goldy Locks was impressed. Goldy Locks is otherwise known as James Haigh my lifetime friend. The Mexican dubbed him with this name on account of him never been satisfied with anything. ‘This chair is too soft, and this chair is too hard, this porridge is too salty, this porridge too sweet, this chicken is too seasoned, and this chicken is too plain.’ Goldy Locks’s motto in life is that ‘if everyone thought like him then everything would be all right as he is always right.’ On getting a curry he proudly announced that “We are from Bradford and have high standards when it comes to curry.” I could see on the waiters face that he was thinking ‘well I am from India and I have high standards when it comes to curry as well.’ Unfortunately for our Indian friend, his standards were not as high as Goldy Locks’s, James had to order extra green chillies to spice things up and when the waiter asked if he liked them James replied with a dead pan stare and said “They add flavour.” One of his favourite comments after a meal was “I’m not paying for that!” I would then look over to him and reply, “I know you’re not James, that’s because I’m paying for it.”
However, when it came to servicing Martijn everything was different and Goldy Locks had found his perfect bowl of porridge. I could not believe my ears when after Martijn asked James for some help, he replied: “For you Martijn, anything.” I have known James from the moment he was born and he has never said that to me. Perhaps I can one day be as an amazing person as Martijn Rijerse.
So we battled on through rain and wind in front of Liverpool’s Liver building, listening to the endless lyrics of ‘A Ferry across the Mersy’ hailing from the ferry that was crossing the Mersey. We had the most water hungry sand imaginable which was a problem as we didn’t have mains water for the first part. We made use of a triangular sculpture so that each of us could have a side to carve on whilst Goldy locks helped out along the way, baying to Martijn’s every need.
Number Two of course made a Picasso master piece and parted with all his knowledge on sand carving with the Mexican who is a newcomer to the sand world. This elevated him to Number 1 in The Mexican’s eyes. Sorry Dan Glover, glory is short lived. The Mexican made a very good piece himself as you will judge. I formally introduce Andy Moss into the Sand world. I made Picasso’s Dove of Peace which was nice enough when in the company of Gods.
After finishing we had a celebratory ice cream and said our goodbyes to the sculpture which was to be demolished the next day. I am still awaiting the film of our good friend Ben the site manager trying to demolish the sculpture by running through it with his impressive 180 kilos or 20 stone. I did inform him that the sculpture weighed 60,000 kilos but he was not to be deterred and bounced off the sculpture at 07:30 the next day. This is a film I would like to see.
Thanks to all those involved and to Walk the Plank for having us.