a clockmakers tale by Simon Gibson

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He looked at the flip sign that currently showed closed to the outside world, and to him it showed in medium red letters "open". He looked at this and said aloud, " I have this door and I think I should open it." He had realised that it was time for him to end what had been a good and profitable career, and start doing what he actually wanted, and for the first time in forty years, he left the sign on closed and went out, out to chase his dream.

He arrived at the local college a few hours later, and after some fairly stale bus journeys. On arrival he asked them if there were any teachers who could teach him to craft in glass or crystal. The receptionist looked at him strangely, "Most likely my age" he thought.

" Yes, there are several art and craft lecturers here and many of them would be able to help, are you interested in joining any of the short courses?" The receptionist still looked fairly bewildered by the old man who stood before her.

" Ok, yes, have you any books on crafting glass that I could look over before I join?" He had never been to college, having started his life as a part time shelf stacker after leaving school.

" Yes, but there not specifically for that particular course, they cover a wide range of subjects," She handed a copy of the brochure over to him, her face had regained a normal position now and he thanked her. " Most of them start this week, if you have any queries or want to sign up for anything then there is a phone number on the back of the prospectus."

He thanked her once again and left.

While he was waiting at the bus stop for the first of three buses home he looked at the cover of the prospectus and noticed all the young people on the cover, this made him wonder if the girl at the college was just having a bit of fun by inviting him to join on any of the courses, and as he flicked through the pages of the booklet he saw that all the photos had young people in them, and they were all smiling moronically, he remembered that when he was at school he very rarely smiled.

After settling down on the final bus to his home he started to ignore the flashy graphics and looked at all the different courses that the place had to offer. Many of them were things that he had only heard of on the television, and some he had no idea whatsoever of what they could possibly be about.

Eventually he reached the section about art, and it was this that he had spent the past thirty minutes reading. After a further five minutes of wading through blurb he reached the course list, but found it heavy going as there were none that directly said "glass craft". One did have the word "craft" in it and he thought that here would be the best bet to start from.

The course was titled " NVQ Level 2 Craft." He read the small passage of writing describing what it was all about, ignoring the bits about how it could lead to better and greater things, for only one thing for him could teach his better and greater things, and that was the eventual creation of his dream clock, the crystal timepiece which would be a marvel for all who saw it.

Within the description it gave a three word about glass crafting "...Methods of glass working..." and although it was very little to go on it was sufficient to convince him that this would be the best way to get some skills in what he wanted to achieve, but he was uninterested in all the other aspects of the course, and for good reason.

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