My Story - A bit long...
Last year I was on an Art and Design Foundation course - basically a course
designed to allow students after a-levels to discover themselves creativley -
you do everything under the sun, 3D Fine Art, Fashion, Photography, Graphics -
absolutly everything. My tutor was one of the most amazing people I have ever
met - he was just one of the most kind and caring people on earth - he was
always happy, never glum. As I was walking to Sainsbury's (supermarket) one
winter day - I saw in the distance this British racing green sports car - it was
making a bit of a roar - then as it came closer I just thought - this is just
the coolest car ever - and who was in the driving seat? my tutor. This is just
sooo him - wrap around cycling shades and with the top down - and it was cold.
He had the biggest grin on his face ever. He gave me a wave as he speeded by.
After that I saw the car in the car park - every so often during the year I
would take a look around it. I never got to go in it - Im surprised it ever
passed its MOT - but I could see under the rust. Just after Christmas I over
heard him saying to someone that he was thinking of selling it, I don't think he
really was - it wasn't worth much and I knew how much he liked it - however I
decided to do some research - just out of interest to see how much they were
worth - and check out insurance after someone said that it would probably be
cheap. So I did all the research and found out all about the car. This was about
February - and the idea of getting a ar was really a pipe dream - especially
where I was because I lived on campus - so college was litrally only 80 metres
away. The thoughts of a Spitfire died for a while.
The course ended and I kept in contact with my tutor - I would go and visit him
sometimes - he needed some help on an exhibition he was possibly going to curate
at the British Museum. And I had to visit his wifes design studio - which was
where they lived - she shared it with a couple of graphic designers - whom I was
trying to get some paid work experience with - that didnt happen in the end. I
was looking for a job all summer....
Anyway, out of the blue I get a call from my tutor, asking if I could cope with
teaching. I laughed and said no way - I've never taught before. Being my tutor
he managed to sway me around to the idea. Basically he had said to the college
that he could run this 1 week short course - which he actually was planning to
make up as he went along - but soon realised that it wasn't a good idea. So he
got me to do it, there was money involved. So I found myself teaching 6 people a
computer program for a week! I made it up as I went along, by the end I was
pleased with what the students had achieved. I didn't have a ready made plan or
anything, it was all me.
Thoughts now moved to the new student house I was going to move in to for the
next year. I had planned and researched the idea of riding bike to college - I
didn't fancy the bus because it takes ages and goes in the wrong direction
initially. Directly the house was only about 4 miles away from college - looking
at the map it was quite an easy journey. Anyway - we go to sign the contract for
the house, its only then that I realise that the journey is up and down 2 huge
hills. No way was I going to bike it now. Im rather lazy I guess - but going up
that hill on a bike really isn't my cup of tea. So we sign the contract and my
thoughts turn to cars.
I had fore warned my parents by raving about Spits all summer. Now I had to tell
them that I was *really* thinking of buying one. I worked out my finances and I
could just afford it. It took a lot of convincing but I managed it. So the plan
went ahead - I was in a hurry because term started soon. So we found 4 cars to
look at - the first one I saw, the guy came to the house, I looked out side when
he arrived and thought to myself - this is ridiculous. But I blocked all these
thoughts out of my head - and got on with finding a Spit.
So I decided on a pimento red Spit - it had (and does still) dodgy paint work -
but was mechanically good - it was the only one we looked at that was a daily
driver (he must have covered 100 miles a day or so). So we made a deal on the
monday - I was picking it up the next week. You cannot imagine how excited I was
during this week - this was my first car - but it was also a Triumph Spitfire!!!
I couldn't wait to tell my tutor what I was getting.
This is where it all gets rather sad - on the thursday of that week I got an
email from a friend saying that my tutor had a heart attack and was found dead
only a couple of days before. I couldn't quite get this in to my brain - he was
only 36 - and I had only seen him a few weeks earlier. He was always so full of
I picked up the car the next week, which was scary enough - seeing as the guy
took me out on a driving lesson and I couldn't even drive it!! - and the
prospect of driving around the M25 seemed even more scary. It took my mind of
the death of a good friend for sure though. So it was a few weeks and term
started and there was so much to do - the impact of his death didn't really hit
me until after christmas - even though I was driving the same car as he drove -
every day - to the college he taught at, along the same road I had seen it for
the first time.
My car is a accidental reminder of him - every time Im feeling a bit down - my
car reminds me of this fantastic man - and his zest for life. I wouldn't be in
the position I am in now if it wasn't for him.
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