About 13 years ago I tore a page out of the Guardian weekend magazine and stuck it to my fridge. It was about a man calling himself Barn the Spoon, who lived in the woods, carving spoons, pottering about, and generally seeming to have a lovely time, free from the shackles of capitalism. I admired Barn the Spoon. I wanted a bit of that feeling for myself.
Every time I moved house, I’d take Barn off the fridge and carefully fold him up and then when I unpacked at the other end, back he’d go, reminding me to follow my dreams, even if they didn’t make me a lot of money or involved living in a hut.
Here he is:
Just before Christmas I took Barn off the fridge once more, carefully folded him, and took him to London to a spoon carving workshop. My host? BARN THE SPOON.
I know right? Talk about dreams come true. I added ‘carve a spoon with Barn the Spoon’ to my list of 50 things to do before I’m 50 when I realised that Barn’s own spoon carving dreams had evolved into teaching regular carving workshops, holding a spoon festival – Spoonfest – and even publishing three books all about carving spoons.
I was nervous. When you hold someone up as an inspiration, a model of how you want to shape your own life and ambition, you attach certain feelings and traits to them. They represent something, something that can mean whatever you want it to mean. When you actually meet that person on a cold December Sunday in a city farm in East London, well… there’s scope to be disappointed. View Post