Chance encounter…

When you travel, anywhere, you can open yourself to the opportunity for ‘encounter’.

When we travel via car-riage we are to varying extents limiting our exposure to encounter.

When you travel by bike (or indeed walk) regularly, you will find that one of the things that might strike you is your exposure for encounters.

My Instagram captures above don’t portray the people, but it’s the human interactions that are most memorable. From the trio of ladies on their way to work that say hi every morning, and the senior citizen with her two dogs, the people on bikes going the other way, the mechanic who opens his garage at the same time every morning, the man returning from the shop with his paper, the lady who feeds the ducks, the people waiting for the bus, the schoolboy with his rucksack, the rough sleepers under the bridge…

I’ve said it before; All this puts the ignorance of the man in the black saloon in his place. 

If you consider your ‘approach’ appropriately, often your encounters can be remarkable and delightful. From the natural and the humane, to the juxtaposition of our creations, traditions, and behaviours. Yes, you also encounter the broken, the disturbed, the unfortunate (and ‘misjudgments’ as a professional correspondent recently excused it).  But in the main, exposure to ‘life’ can bring growth. Life by its nature brings growth – it’s the lack of life, or broken life, that might cause disruption, disease, and emptiness. As a ‘creative art’ student, one of my favorite quotes was ‘the interaction between things is what makes them fecund’ from Wallace Stevens (referenced by Damian Grant in his book ‘Realism’).  

I consider myself fortunate. The times I am shaken by glimpses of wonder, by people, nature, song, life’s riches… far outway the angry disappointed brokenness that also colours our society. 

On another not unrelated topic: I have a small part in a play by a local amateur theatre company QT Theatre. It’s a play called ‘Chance Encounters’ written by Jamesine Cundell Walker. One day… One bench… Nine encounters…
QT say “a mixture of comedy, pathos and surprise!” .. a day centred around a park bench … Chance encounters; from a couple meeting to discuss division, to a lady settling herself on the bench for the night. 

Easily said, but for some, not so easily put into practice… but, I will say it again; ‘the interaction between things is what makes them fecund’. Here’s hoping.




We watched The Greatest Showman recently, a last treat of the festive season. Fabulous!
“People come to my show for the pleasure of being hoodwinked” says Hugh Jackman as showman Phineas Taylor Barnum in the film.
We went to see Scrooge at Leicester Curve at Christmas. Again, fabulous. I recall tweeting afterward, ‘if one could only suspend disbelief forever…’ 

Loe Bar, Porthleven Cornwall,

I wonder – Suspend disbelief, that life’s not just all a construct?
I wonder – Hoodwinked into thinking it’s all worth it?

The Showman’s songs go;
” ’cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colours fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake”
“But I won’t let them break me down to dust
…For we are glorious”

Listening to some BBC Radio 3 Desert Island Discs recently a few people commented on the need for ‘structure’ in their lives.
One of Miranda Hart’s desert island choices was an old hymn from her memories of school, to her it resonated ‘structure’. Kirsty Young joked with her about a new motto for life: ‘relax within a structure’.
Dame Judi Dench talked about disliking having to ‘split the atom’ and break through the proscenium arch. For Dame Judi, it seems the performance of a character is one thing, but she hates making a real-life one-person personal speech. Directors have spoken about her ‘almost unbelievable ability to switch in and out of character’. Choice… “Acting, should be done” she says.
Einstein is quoted to have said: “One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries… of the marvellous structure of reality…. Never lose a holy curiosity.”

One can see that without some element of faith in some structure in our lives, much of it might crumble, fail to grow, and cease to breathe.


The December season for many is a time where we break routines, pause work, and enjoy other activities. It’s a time for entertaining dreams. We celebrate stories from the past – old narratives – a time where the hoary-headed might be especially respected. We entertain fantasy and myth. We suspend disbelief and perhaps we’re hoodwinked.

This holiday season I have beem entranced by a few paralell worlds. The absence of a familiar habitual structured daily routine has invited me to wonder into films, stories, paperback novels and the theatre. From Dickens to Mariani, Moana to Skywalker, Paddington Bear to P.T.Barnum…

It the words of Tom Jenkins Thank you very much  – A joy-filled thanks for the death of the squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous people in our worlds.

And in the words of Maui You’re welcome!”.  “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust

You don’t need much suspended-disbelief to feel that perhaps it’s not hoodwink behind the lights, it’s song!

In the incandescent enrapturing songs of Hugh, Keala, and team…

From now on…” {must see video}

This is me…” {must see video}


“I saw the sun begin to dim, And felt that winter wind…  When the glitter fades…  These eyes will not be blinded by the lights…  A man learns who is there for him… From now on… this is me!”


Come on you blues!

BlueYouA celebration of ‘the blues’ – euphoric, enchanting and rapturous; far from ‘the blues’ that lots of us struggle with.

Currently, in Leicestershire, we have celebrations going on, in support of the local football team’s phenomenal success in English football’s Premier League. Everyone’s wearing blue!

Leicester City, ‘The Foxes’, ended the 2014-15 season avoiding relegation from what seemed a hopeless position. At the start of this season avoiding relegation was a primary aim – odds for Leicester to win the league (LOL) were 5000 to 1.  However every game this season has brought a drop in odds, a vibrancy to supporters, and a positive mood in the city (and county).  Now, after 35 games, the odds on Leicester winning are 1 to 5 that’s an 83% chance they will win! Their team performances are riveting, skilful, entertaining and winning! But, it’s not over till the large lady sings! As they say. Is that what it’s about?  It’s not over till the final act of the opera! Theatre!

‘roar of the crowd’

I enjoy watching some sports for the theatre of it!  I have nothing against the fanatical support of a sport, in fact, I applaud the faith supporters have in their teams – people invest a lot of emotion and money in their chosen sport and team.  This dedication often pays off when a team wins and the emotional investment is repaid.  The roar of the crowd is palpable –  Leicester’s ‘roar of the crowd’ was recorded by a seismometer installed by the British Geological Survey 500m from King Power Stadium; a tremor with a magnitude of 0.3 was recorded when Foxes fans reacted to a final goal against Norwich, in February. The tremor was attributed to the crowds “sudden energy release”. It was labelled the “Vardy Quake” after striker Jamie Vardy.

The roar of the crowd. The smell of the greasepaint – or footballs, ale, snacks, colourful synthetic tops – nostalgia?


For me, it’s the ‘theatre’ of the events and the spectatorship (the being part of ‘it’) that gives me and many of us a buzz!  At the event, the emotion and energy can be physically ecstatically phenomenal. Even once or twice removed from the action; watching on a screen or even just on the radio; the experience can be remarkable and reactions can be euphoric, enchanting and rapturous.

We may not always be the action, but the theatre of our lives is there for us all to invest in, to soak up, to be part of! I think one of the most common comments I’m hearing about Leicester’s performance is “it’s unbelievable!”.

Suspend disbelief and soak it up!  And celebrate your blues!

Down with the crooked, the deceitful, “every tale condemns a villain”.  All power to the heroes and heroines that keep hope and life alive!

Whether blue, orange, green or incandescent, bring on the next act I say!


He was Mark…

On Friday I was lucky to see the penultimate performance of “I Am Mark” a contemporary theatre piece created and performed by Applecart Live.

Taking the Bible’s book of Mark as it’s text, they play with its context, themes and stories, rendering it in distinctive layered ways using new imagery and language.

They use characters and monologue, humour and tension, words and imagery, and they very effectively wrap the scenes in effectual song and sound.

All four of the cast were strong yet sympathetic and relayed powerful yet real performances. Both action and musical performances were extremely accomplished yet this talent did not detract from the text being shared.

In the story we hear of ‘The Crowd Gatherer’ sharing subversive truths and disturbing the political and religious powers. We hear “Change your thinking”, “close the distance”, there is “Deep Wisdom”, as the script employs new terminology in place of loaded traditional terms. The baggage of the 2000 year old story is lightened and indeed enlightened.

It’s a rich multilayered experience that left me thinking about glimpsed importance and feeling splashes of hope. Throughout, the drama was punctuated by a prospect of terror. A vignette from existent 🙂 demons humorously and sharply refocuses a perspective of evil. The final scene quenched the assault of query and troubled souls with… something special.. ? humanity? hope? …poured from a jar, an imagined intimate interaction with the audience.

There was a brief hiatus when nothing happened…


When Applecart offer this again, or indeed something new, I recommend keeping an eye our for them!

A doodle of mine…