An Incidence Of Coincidence

Coincidence. Serendipity. I’ve been speaking a lot about that kind of thing recently. From a reader posting comments on City Jackdaw about places from her childhood that also hold connections for me, to a fellow blogger describing serendipity playing out in her own life.

Along with what’s the chances of that happening in the face-to-face world that we operate in, too.

Highlighting them seems to be attracting more of the same, eavesdropping universe that this is.

This post is an example of a string of coincidences that recently played out over the last few days.

It began when I messaged my cousin to see if he wanted to go to a local Non-League football game. He replied that, along with his family, he’d gone to Glastonbury for a few days, a place I know that they love.

In answering his text I told him to “Enjoy Avalon”, referring to the link that the place has to Arthurian legend.

Later that day, while absently scrolling through Facebook, a video surfaced that was first posted in January by the group Kula Shaker. It featured them spending some time on top of Glastonbury Tor, at either sun-up or sundown, with some music and chanting featuring in the background.

So of course I sent this video on to my cousin as I was sure he’d appreciate it. He did.

Then, speaking of Avalon, in a local charity shop I came across a book that I’d been meaning to read since I was a child:

I snapped up a bargain and was able to start it, a few decades down the line from those first youthful intentions.

Now, back to Kula Shaker again:

They are a band that seem to be marmite to people, but I like them. I first encountered them in 1996 when I worked for a short time in a warehouse (predictive text changed that to whorehouse 🙈) on Stakehill Industrial Site.

Driving an electric pallet truck, I passed the radio, perched on a bottom stair, that was playing what sounded like a slice of 60’s psychedelia, which I love.

After first catching my ear, it seemed that, as I made many circuits around the warehouse throughout the next few days, whenever I passed the radio that same song would be coming from it (coincidence again?). This regular amount of airplay demonstrated that whatever it was, it must be new music, and eventually I stopped my truck and hung around long enough to get the name of the track:

Tattva, by a new group named Kula Shaker.

I went straight out and bought their debut album ‘K’ which featured that song, and have been a fan ever since.

Now, fast-forward back to today.

Kula Shaker’s last album had come out in 2016 (K 2.0) but they had been posting/tweeting/crowing for a few weeks about some new music and a tour that was imminent.

Then we got a countdown promising . . . something.

First there was a cryptic smiley drum thing.

Then the countdown became more specific.

And then D-Day, a video was posted showcasing the first music from this pending new album. The title of the song?

What’s the odds? I’ve stopped asking that question.

Glastonbury/Avalon/The Once And Future King

Don’t be surprised if the group play Glastonbury this year. This thing is going to run and run.

I will follow their lights/And I will follow their star.

Who Resides In The Shadows?

I’ve not written any fiction for six years.

I hadn’t realised it had been that long until I was going through some books today and uncovered the two volumes of The Northlore Series that I have three stories included in (Volume One: Folklore; Volume Two: Mythos), along with a poem.

I sat down and read my contributions. Reading them for the first time in a while felt strange, as though they’d been penned by someone else. The last one was published in 2016, and since then it seems that my focus has been solely on poetry and non-fiction.

I enjoyed becoming acquainted with those characters again: Alfred Cartwright, the former English teacher finding himself trapped in the horror of the Somme, and Andy, the young, infatuated, wannabe writer, working in a Manchester cafe for a little extra money.

As any reader or writer will know, fictional characters take on flesh in the mind’s eye, appearing in the form that our imaginations give to them. But with the final character – a Lutheran Pastor ministering to a small rural village in Norway, I had a little help with an illustration provided by the series’ artist, Evelinn Enoksen:

I peered at his face, up close, thinking ah, I remember you. Torsten Göransson, the Stockholm man of faith, struggling through the snow.

It made me think of other characters that I have, neither drawn nor written, existing half-formed in the back of my mind, having been pushed back further down the line.

Maybe I should consider bringing some of them out into the light? Maybe they want to breathe a little?

Maybe I should turn my focus inwards and ask “Who’s there?”

Perhaps after this oral history project is completed.

The Sands Of Inspiration

This was the sight that greeted me the other night, and what a beautiful sight it was too. As dusk fell the sky turned a fiery orange. A final moment of glory, blazing into blackness.

And of course, I had to get a photograph of it, although I’m sure you guys would have believed me without one.

It was reported that some Britons were puzzled by a yellow sky, some by a red sky, while where I was it was definitely an orange sky. But whatever tint you got, it turned out that the cause was a Saharan dust cloud that had made its way over here. Crossing borders with neither a visa or a passport.

This just goes to show how things happening elsewhere can have an affect on us here (wherever the ‘us here’ is, as the application is universal for you, dear reader, too).

The butterfly affect, six degrees of separation and all that. Nothing happens in a vacuum, there’s always a knock on effect.

The alarming conflict going on in Eastern Europe further illustrates this, as the ramifications spread across the globe like an unsettling web that we are all getting caught up in.

But it doesn’t have to be just negative things.

A fellow blogger (and honorary Manc) living over the Pond produced the latest of her musical ventures there which also had an affect right here.

This was her CD that recently arrived, and early one morning this corner of Northern England became transformed into the desert setting of New Mexico, the setting which, along with a family of rescue goats, inspired the music to be found on here. Something born there found new life here.

From New Mexico to Manchester.

I never checked, but maybe while I was sat inside listening to Laura’s music the sky outside was orange again.

*Laura’s blog can be found here:

https://laurabrunolilly.com/blog/

Notes on The End

Anyone who is up to date with reading The Owl Journal will know that my last entry — The Where and the When — ended with one helluva cliffhanger. …

Notes on The End

I’ve been following Howard’s blog for a while. A musician suffering from ALS he was given six months to live back in July 2020. I saw my Uncle go through the same thing (though here we call it Motor Neurone’s Disease). As usual I began to read this latest post but was knocked for six on learning that it had been posted the day after his passing. We never met, having only spoke through ‘comments’, but what an emotional hit it was. Rest easy, Howard. Thanks for allowing us to journey with you ❤️