So, having drowned my sorrows with eggnog, red wine and a curious cheese called Stinking Bishop, i threw myself into my first working day of the new year with a gusto rarely seen of a recently heavily rested camera operator. And there is nothing to get you back into the swing of things than rasping rain and a storm force wind to rip you from a seasonal gorge fest of epic proportions. Being made to step out into the winters caress certainly wakes you up and sharpens the senses, but that is nothing compared to what one rural bus driver in Surrey had to contend with on his return to work.
|When trees attack...|
I doubt the poor driver knew very much about it when a few tonnes of seasoned hardwood came crashing through the roof of his place of work. The explosion of his world must have lasted a mere nano second before darkness overtook him, leaving his fate in the hands of the local villagers who cared for him until the Air Ambulance and its Doctor arrived. Last i heard he was critical but stable in hospital, and i wish him well.
As i stood there spooling tape around the camera innards, i wondered just how fickle the world is when the weather conspires to uproot a tree that has witnessed the passing of a few highwaymen, the horse drawn carriage, through to the invention of the motor vehicle, a few world wars and probably thousands of cocked dog legs, eventually leading to the one root that held it in place to snap, just as the poor bus driver drove past.
Think about that... the history of that tree, and the life of that bus driver, forever in parallel, only to join at that one moment in time that changes everything. A second or two earlier or later, and it may have been a talking point at the bus drivers next meal with his family. But with pin point accuracy and timing, things are now a lot different.
|Storm, plus tree, plus bus, equals...|
Taking a look at the bus once the wreckage of the tree had been cleared makes me wonder just how the driver survived the initial impact in the first place. It certainly put my cameraman way of thinking into some sort of perspective. It's like a slap in the face on a frosty morning, returning to work at the coalface of news gathering after furring up the arteries with festive cheer. All i need tomorrow is the pouring rain, some court steps and a scowling perp with a fist fighting fetish... then i'll know i'm back.
Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.