The new Interval
café in the Opera House in Wakefield would be the
ideal place for me to meet up with my students for a drawing workshop,
if it wasn't for one thing: there's no wheelchair access. The only
entrance, on the corner of Westgate and Drury Lane, is in through
these doors (left) and up a flight of steps.
But it's a great place for coffee or lunch if you can get up those
steps and the opening exhibition features some paintings of shimmering
meadows by my friend Helen Thomas, so it's worth
dropping in just for the artwork.
The Lemming Code
I omitted the traffic from this view and I seem to have a blind
spot for vehicles later in the afternoon when I adopt the lemming
version of the highway code when crossing the road further up Westgate.
I'm looking over my shoulder at the traffic coming out of town.
Two cars aren't signaling to turn down the side street
that I'm waiting to cross so I'm keeping my eyes on the third which
is indicating to turn left. But there's just time for me
to get across if I'm quick.
I'm still glancing over my shoulder at the third car as I step
briskly onto the road and discover that the first car hasn't
gone off down Westgate as I assumed it would; it is hurtling by
just a foot in front of me and the second car follows it.
Barbara thinks she saw at least one of these cars signaling, if
so, I missed it. Luckily I step back and all three cars miss me
You might not have seen what you think you've seen
Cars are driven by humans so indicating isn't 100% consistent
- a car can turn without indicating, indicate at the last moment
or even be indicating in good time and then not turn at all
At night this comes back to me and I realise how quickly my life
would have changed, or even ended, if this sequence of events had
been a second or two different.
Royal and Opera House
Toasted Orange, paintings
by Helen Thomas
Richard Bell, email@example.com