Jack – Age 70
“I love Brighton, it’s the most easy, laid-back, cosmopolitan town in England. My next adventure is getting up tomorrow. I say every day above ground is a good day.”
I had a woman from Iceland in – her family specialises in repairing roofs, but it’s impossible to buy tools in Iceland, so she came to me to buy roofing tools. She bought a slate dipping tool and various tools for working on roofs. In my history I’ve done many jobs. I’ve been a cabinet maker, a caretaker, a photographer – I’ve done many things.
The last good film I watched was probably ‘The Prophet’. People with cheap shoes spend a lot of money.
I think technology has caused people to be more distant from each other, because they don’t need to meet face to face, so you can just be talking to someone on the other side of the world. You can talk to someone you’ve never met – you can be in business with someone you’ve never met. I think it breaks down the boundaries and there’s less restriction – things are more open. If kids grow up with technology, they will always be at home with it and use it well, whereas with my generation, it took me six months to use a phone when they first came out. I try to avoid emails if I can.
My next adventure is getting up tomorrow. I always say ‘every day above ground is a good day.’ I don’t go swimming because I suffer from cramp and I’m allergic to drowning.
If I was to change something in the city, I would encourage more workshops. There is an enormous need for workshops in a city like this. There are lots of people out here with good creative ideas but they simply can’t put them into practice because they’ve got nowhere to work. The price of workshops in Brighton is probably comparable to London per square foot, and someone starting out can’t afford to rent a workshop space. What I think is really sad and unfortunate, if you go up North – I’ve been to Leicester and I’ve been to York – is the amount of derelict buildings from industries that have died. It’s just criminal, they’re all over the place. I can’t help but think, if you were just to shift those a couple of hundred miles south, people would be queuing up to rent them. Such a shame that they’re all up there, yet we’re all down here.
I read constantly. I’m reading the Antiques Gazette, which is a weekly paper. When I’m not reading that, I’m reading fashion magazines and, when I’m not reading that, I’m reading design. In terms of books I have read, I would recommend the George Orwell story Shooting the Elephant or the short story by DH Lawrence called The Rocking Horse Winner. Both are two excellent short stories. People don’t read enough and don’t read enough poetry.
What I would like to change in the Open Market is to increase footfall. I would recommend using the internet to boost publicity. Facebook, Twitter etc. All publicity is good publicity.
I feel as though I’m aged 48.