Steve On The Plinth

Do you know that feeling when you sit around at home thinking that all your friends are out there doing wild things and having a great time whilst you are just, well, sitting around?

I have to admit I have felt like that more than once this year since I have been under medical instructions to take care and not over do things until I have fully recovered from my brain haemorrhage.

Luckily I usually find out that most of my friends weren’t all having that much fun after-all.

OK the others at my kungfu club were sparring and doing all those dog style rolls that I cannot do until I am better.

And,I only have to walk by my local pub to see everyone in there with their pints of Harveys Beer, our local brew, to know that they aren’t really bored even if they say they are.

Then there are all those annoyingly tanned people returning from holidays in exotic countries – did I believe Liz when she said she got bored in Thailand? No I did not.

I have been having fun anyway because, if this doesn’t sound too sad for words, I really do enjoy my own company and I have been having a great time just sitting here at my pc and playing games with my mind.

So I haven’t been really jealous of any of my friends.

Well not until the other day when Steve send me a photo of himself on that Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London, the one that was never used for a memorial to some general or admiral and which is still looking for a permanent subject.

Anthony Gormley’s latest project is to populate this statue plinth, which is in front of the National Gallery, with living sculptures….so called “ordinary” people who have an hour up there each in turn when they can do whatever they want. Well the naked man had to put his knickers back on when the police got fidgety but mostly it has been a wonderful panorama of British life freely expressed.

Then there was Steve…my friend…just up there doing what he does and has always done really well. He is smiling whilst making a serious point. The photo on his chest of the wrongly imprisoned Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says it all. Well it does to me, Streve never told me what he was doing up there.

Well done my friend I would have loved to have done that. I want to see a change in the Burmese government too but, mostly, if I am honest, I am just dead jealous.

That fourth plinth will never be the same again now that it has been claimed by the “people.” Let’s hope that no one is ever foolish enough one day to put up an equestrian statue of some ordinary old general or duke.


  1. Now granted I don't know your friend, Steve, but it sure looks to me like he's throwing a bridal bouquet there to some other lucky person on the Plinth. 🙂

  2. Steve emailed me: Not at all. It would be pretty perverse – even by my standards – to object to messages I was attempting to send from the plinth receiving more attention elsewhere. And especially when accompanied by the thoughtful and sensitive commentary you have written. So thank you. I'm touched that you should think it worthwhile. At the risk of boring-for-England about my hour on the plinth, I'd only add that in addition to highlighting Aung San Suu Kyi's situation (that certainly worked – she got another 18 months of house arrest on the following Tuesday) I was also hoping to draw attention to Free Tibet. The green ribbon represents them. The flowers and their ribbons on the right of the plinth were in Burmese colours – more precisely, the colours of the Free Burma movement – and on the left in Tibetan colours. I didn't expect these messages to get through equally, but it simply felt too selfish to me to not in part use my hour to reach out to others. As it happens, more of the messages came through via the radio mike the One & Other team offer participants, which, of course, picked up my mobile phone conversations. Should you the paint on your walls not have dried, all of this is archived on the One & Other website – just click on Plinthers and a searchable (by time and date) archive hoves into view.

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