Whittling Project #23


People sometimes ask me, ‘Spike, you seem like you’re quite angry and annoyed a lot of the time. Tell me, what do you do to relax?’ (Ok, no one has ever asked me that. Seriously, why have none of you ever asked me that?) You may have guessed by my opening tone that after all those heavy pieces on hunting, climate change and climate change again, the seriousness and po-faced-ness of it all finally got a little too much for me and it’s time for one of my periodic drifts into levity.

So what do I do to relax I hear you all completely refusing to ask (it’s almost as if you have no interest in my mental well-being whatsoever). Well, obviously, I whittle miniature Star Wars figures, what else does a right thinking 30-something environmental nerd do with his spare time? And today I’m particularly pleased with myself, as I’ve just completed my tiny R2D2*. I even managed to bleed in the right place (the ‘eye’ bit) when I inevitably cut myself. Which made me very happy. But then made me whimper a bit and rummage through the draws for a plaster. And then when I couldn’t find a plaster, reduced me to wrapping toilet role around my thumb and selotaping it in place (it’s not very easy to type like this).


Harlequin Ladybirds fear nothing – not even the half-finished, poorly executed whittled head of a Sith Lord

But where’s the Adventures in Conservation in all this, I once again don’t hear you ask (just what is your problem?). Well, where along time ago (in a galaxy far, far away…OK, actually Walthamstow) I used to whittle in a spacious garden, surrounded by wildflowers and birds and insects and all that kind of mentally relaxing stuff, I now whittle on a tiny balcony in a tower block over-looking the giant hanger of Stockwell Bus Station. ‘Not very picturesque, not very ‘naturey’, is it Spike?’ you might say, if you ever actually got around to asking me a question, you self-involved so and so. And no, it isn’t, but…but my whittling has had the rather wonderful side effect of creating a small pile of wood shavings in the corner of what was previously a desolate and tiny landscape. Today, while finishing off my micro-droid I noticed ladybirds crawling out of the debris. A quick count revealed 10 (though they were all Harlequins) – but still, nature where there was none before, and all thanks to George Lucas. Sort of.


Progression of the whittle


The whole family including lop-sided Ewok and half-finished Vader-head

As I type, I’ve just noticed some of this wonderful nature has followed me indoors. I suspect someone (my wife) will finally be asking me some questions about my hobbies.

*I’ve not had much opportunity to do any chainsawing recently, but one day in the near future I plan to create a R2D2 tree stump. I’m sure that would go down well with the Reserve Manager.