By Joe Colquhoun
Interview Day, Wednesday the 23rd of May, at around 8pm a road-sign told me my fortune. For free. And it was right.
During my four minutes on stage I’d decided to talk about my introduction to craft Ale, how I’d become interested in it’s artistic freedom and had eventually begun brewing with my closest friend (who I’m now living with). Towards the end I’d invited everyone to try a collection of my favourites including one of our own, to see what they thought. Soon the brightly coloured cans were being passed from one person to the next, and the indistinct background chatter of people’s opinions of the beer and its design began to grow.
Everything was going great.
A couple of cans later and a pint or two at the pub after the interview day was over, I was ready to head home. I made the hour journey back to Surbiton and began the long walk up the hill. This is where I first noticed the sign, or the sign noticed me, I’m not too sure. I stared up at it for longer than I’d care to admit. Now, literally and metaphorically at a crossroads in my life, it’s message seemed to suggest a lot more than some mundane, traffic instructions.
‘CHANGED PRIORITIES AHEAD’
“Is this sign trying to tell me that I’ll be accepted, that in a couple of days I’ll hear Marc down the phone welcoming me into SCA?
“No Joe, you’re just tipsy and trying to be all ‘deep thinky’ again, go make dinner.”
“Wait, but if Marc does call me in a couple of days to tell me that I’ve been accepted into the school, this sign is going to ring true more than ever. My entire life will be flipped upside down, everything that I prioritise now, my job, my friends and where I live will require reshuffling.”
I took a photo and saved it to my camera roll, first sending it to a friend letting him know why I didn’t have time to see him later that evening, and then promptly forgot all about my encounter.
The call came two days earlier than expected. I was working at the time and kept receiving calls from a number I didn’t recognise. Expecting to be offered large amounts of money for an incident in the workplace that wasn’t my fault, I continued to hang up. Finally after the third missed call I stepped out and picked up the phone. “Holy shit, no way!” were the first eloquent words to come out of my mouth. The sign was right.
A week later, having destroyed my phone in a car door I began the laborious job of uploading all of my photos to my computer and once again I was reminded of my run in with ‘The Sign’.
Did it really for-see my success into getting a place at SCA, days before Marc decided to give me the good news?
No I doubt it. I mean that’s completely absurd, it’s a lump of metal used for traffic instructions, not some omniscient being that offers it’s pearls of wisdom to random commuters. Is it coincidentally relevant to everyone who’s now been accepted onto the course? Definitely. Plus I get to write about it now for my SCAB.
As of yesterday I’ve left my Job. Tomorrow I am moving into my first flat in London. In a week I will begin at SCA. All of these have become my new priorities and I can’t deny that whilst all of this is pretty fucking daunting, I can’t wait to start my new life.