I had a doctor’s appointment today (nothing major) and, as usual, ended up spending a good forty minutes waiting around to be called. I knew I should have booked in an early morning slot. Foolishly, I didn’t even bring a book, and all there was to read in the waiting room were a few dog-eared magazines that had evidently been donated by someone in the construction industry.

For lack of any alternative ways to distract myself from the stream of healthcare reminders being screened on repeat above my head, I had a flip through one of the magazines. It was called Steel Monthly or something. Look, I’m not averse to the occasional read on a topic I’m completely unfamiliar with – it never hurts to learn something new. And I guess you could say I learned a thing or two about structural steel today.

For example, I now know roughly where to start should I ever wish to buy structural steel supplies. Melbourne, it would seem, is home to a significant amount of this stuff, both for supply to various industries and in the form of structures such as high-rise buildings, residences, ships and bridges.

Perhaps I’ll have a closer-than-usual look at the materials the built environment is constructed from next time I’m in the CBD area of Melbourne. Custom steel fabrication is a service that obviously must exist in order for cities to get made, yet I’ve never really given it a second thought.

I mean, things like beams, columns, lintels, plates and pipes must have to be made to measure, especially for buildings that are architecturally unusual. Speaking which, isn’t there some kind of trend at the moment for exposed steel construction? Buildings that feature that would probably be made with even more focus on custom parts.

Anyway, by the time I got called into the doctor’s office, I’d all but devoured Steel Monthly, and in the process forgotten what I was planning to talk to the doctor about. Typical.