The cold, crisp, March air was just starting to be warmed by the sun as I set off on a highly important, top secret, charitable, furniture design mission. As I cruised the streets of down town Clermont Ferrand, France on my bike I received many adoring looks from the early rising locals, passing the nurses school I was blown countless kisses, “bonjour les filles, see you later”.
All of a sudden, in front of me a gang of ruthless, (oh yeah they were definitely ruthless, they had their tracky bottoms tucked into their socks) French, bad boys mugged a helpless old lady as she was coming out of a boulangerie, knocking her to the ground and making away with her handbag and more importantly her baguette. I quickly stepped in and checked the lady’s condition before heading off in hot pursuit of the gangsters blacked out Berlingo multispace. Sprinting, head down, I pedalled to speeds of over 60kmph, picking my way through the busy streets, jumping over parked cars and flying down stairs on short-cuts to catch up with the fleeing car. As I passed the orphanage where I used to volunteer I managed to sign to poor, little, deaf Jean Pierre to call my pals at the gendarmerie to tell them to get the SWAT helicopter up.
Caught out by a blocked one way street the criminals had to grind to a halt, seeing the opportunity I rammed their car with a side flip, bike karate chop, saving a small kitten at the same time from being run down by a taxi. The impact was enough to shake up the bad boys and gave me time to whittle a weapon from a nearby fence post. Clearly riled by the damage to their plastic add-on aero body kit the gang of 10 came at me, all black belt martial art experts, each 6 foot tall. Biff, baff, boff, killer blows to the vitals and down they all went. It was at this point that their car exploded throwing me backwards and then things went hazy and after giving the kiss of life to Miss France who just happened to be caught up in the explosion and securing the area as the helicopter landed I finally passed out. In the hospital I was awarded the Victoria Cross, the key to the city and every Frenchman’s dream a lifetime’s supply of free baguettes from the boulangerie.
Believe me, that was more or less how I lost my two front teeth, ok, ok so I tweaked a few details but the end result was the same. The ‘real’ accident in March 2011 was without doubt a massive set back to my new venture, I mean who has ‘coming around on a cold road in a worryingly big pool of their own blood combined with weeks with their mouth wired tightly shut having to play charades to be understood’, on their list of how to conquer the furniture world? After three years of operations, waiting, and scaring small children I can now turn the page on the whole saga.
The impact on my life is far more significant than just having two new implants (and I am not talking about fake boobs, although…no, two shinny front teeth)! Working in the design world where networking and charming ‘important’ people (yeah, you know the kind, but if you don’t call them important then they throw their cashmere neck scarves out of their designer prams) plays such a vital part, having the scarecrow look did not help.
Spring is here, bringing lots of exciting new opportunities, longer days and warmer air in the workshop. I have created some new pieces which will soon be featured in a wait for it ……gallery, and this was negotiated in my ‘toothless’ period so brace yourselves for the whirl wind to follow in the ‘toothy’ times to come. Let us not forget my up and coming appearance on Channel Four’s Four Rooms TV show, fingers crossed that the cash I slipped the editing team was well spent. Two great reasons to test run my new smile!