Skip to main content

Bus Stop - Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

I had some frightful luck with the bus yesterday.  I wanted to make as good an impression as I could with Bernard, the gentleman who'd very kindly taken me on as his stone letter carving apprentice.  I had pushed the Prince's Foundation for this placement and I'm glad I did.  I feel very honoured to be here.  To be around and learn from someone who works in a most noble and skilled craft is a source of energy that I will carry with me for a very long time.  

I got to the bus stop for 8:00am.  I wanted to get a head start on drawing my L's and E's before Bernard arrived.  I wanted more practice, wanted to feel the good drug of progress in my veins and the skill in my hands. I wanted to feel the fullest weight of its expression.  I wanted to be the one who takes the panorama of the kingdom of language that exists within it.  What are you saying, Tom?  Does that even mean anything?  Take a breathe.  Keep it simple.  Okay: so in short, I wanted to live in a single letter for an extra hour.   But I had to get there first. 

Ten or fifteen minutes or so after the bus was due to arrive, we were told by a passerby that it had broken down and had italicised its state of brokendownness by filling with smoke, and that its Emergence From Wherever was left in considerable doubt.  In spite of this woman's plummeting faith in public transport and a token disgruntlement of a situation that didn't transcend the borders of the inconvenience it caused her, she may have been secretly thankful of her escape, though as she walked out of the scene I fear I may now never know.  So the unseen bus I had intended to board was now decidedly still, and if these accounts were to be believed, and there was no reason why they shouldn't have been, the fated bus would maintain a similar degree of stillness for a while.  

So we waited.  I thought about it for a while.  Even in this technologically advanced age in which we are free to broadcast a picture of our dinner to everyone we've ever met, the only thing anyone can really do in this particular bus-smoking situation is get off as soon as possible and walk.  Even for the posh sort - and there are a lot here - it must be a stretch even for them to complain to a driver with a smoking bus as the backdrop.  Subsequent passersby provided important eyewitness accounts of the advancing seriousness post-evacuation.  "Fire," one woman said as she passed.  "The bus is on fire.  It was smoking but now it's on fire."  I responded in the only way this Englishman knows how.  "Gosh," I said.   

  








Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An Expert Analysis of Michael Fassbender's Running Style From the Film 'Shame'

Tom Wiggins: What are your first impressions of Michael Fassbender/Brandon's running style? Paul Whittaker: He's running nice, smooth and relaxed. He seems like he has a good amount of fitness and he is running well within himself in terms of pace.   TW: What improvements could he make to his running style? PW: The main improvement I'd make is his foot plant.  He lands heel first and this causes a 'breaking' effect when travelling forwards.  If he landed on his mid-foot/forefoot, this would be a much better for impact stress and propulsion going forward into the next running stride. TW: Regarding his speed, how many minutes per mile is he running? PW: I would say he is running approx 7-7.30 minutes per mile. TW:  What do you make of his stride lengths?  Is he overstriding/understriding? PW: The actor is definitely overstriding in this clip.  It would help if his feet landed underneath and below his centre of gravity. TW: What's his posture like? PW: A slight forward le…

The Diary of an Apprentice Letter Carver

I qualified as a stonemason last July and completed an incredibly enjoyable and memorable stonemasonry apprenticeship with The Prince's Foundation for Building Community in which I made so many friends and worked on so many historic buildings.  During that time, I had a two-week letter carving placement with Bernard Johnson, a very talented and friendly letter carver based in Oxfordshire.  It was with him that I picked up the bug for letter carving and realised that I didn't want to do anything else.  He didn't have an apprentice opportunities at that time, but pointed me in the direction of Fergus Wessel, another letter carver in Oxfordshire.  I went to visit  Fergus at his Stonecutters workshop and after a week's trial, he was able to offer me a four-year apprenticeship.  I am both incredibly lucky to have been given the chance of being his new apprentice, not least because he himself was trained at the prestigious Kindersley Studio.  A diary of my experience as an a…

The Babalú Coffee House & Graffiti in Central Reykjavik

A month or two after getting back from last year's trip to Iceland, I noticed on my analytics page that my blog had attracted a massive seven visitors who were based in Iceland. 'That's strange.' I thought. 'I haven't even mentioned, let alone blogged about Iceland yet. Why am I attracting visitors?' It was at this point that I recalled scrawling my blog address on the wall of a Reykjavik coffee shop. Don't worry, readers: it was perfectly legal.

Any UK-based coffee house would have shown me the door as I graffitied this here url across their wall, but this was the Babalú Coffee House.  And you soon realise upon arriving in Iceland that it has the highest concentration of cool, calm and creative types than just about anywhere else in the world.  Iceland is like the coolest place you've ever visited...just better.  It's so hip that it could bring that very word back into fashion.  
Situated on the Skólavördustigur road and roughly between Ha…