You know all those people who tell you that if you chant about wanting a yacht, or write it in a little book or scrap of paper, you’ll get one? What a load of crap.
So this is not one of those stories. And the title is not meant in earnest.
It must have been about 3 years ago. Can’t remember if I’d had my vision restored yet, or even realised how blind I was, or whether my hair had started to grow back yet, or whether my daughter had gone to live with BH yet. But I was walking one day from my school to my son’s for some meeting or other. My route took me through Green Park and St James’ Park. Frustrating, crowded and expensive though it is, I love London. Its parks (amongst other things) are a joy whatever the weather. As I walked along Birdcage Walk along the southern edge of St James’, I looked up and admired the buildings with their curved designs.
I had not worked (really) for about twenty years by then; my brain had long ago turned to porridge. I used to joke about it, but it was really no joking matter. And even as I joked about it I had no idea just what slurry my mind actually was. I did not know, for example, that I was living with a lunatic, and that the uneasiness I felt as a constant, was a result of my not listening to my own self but to him. As I made my way that day in the park, I had not yet qualified as an Alexander teacher, and did not know if I ever would. I had no idea that I would agree to a level of maintenance that would not maintain me and the children, nor that I wouldn’t even get it, because my ex would get bored of paying.
I don’t know what I thought. I was oblivious.
Anyway, I had no notion of getting a job. Or even that I might ever need one. Or what it might be if I ever did.
And yet. I looked up and a sudden thought came unbidden to my mind about the rounded rooms. Usually that thought would have been ‘must be a nightmare to furnish’. But, on that particular day, the thought was ‘I might work in an office in one of those buildings one day.’
I’ve never thought that about anywhere else, before or since.
Last Tuesday I was invited by some small organisation for a meeting with a view to possibly doing some work for them. Other jobs I have applied for (and not got) have been in industrial estates and suburbs. The address of this one: Queen Anne’s Gate. For those of you not familiar with the neighbourhood: that is the street where the front doors are, of those buildings with the curved backs. Indeed, I was led into just such a room for my meeting. And I was delighted beyond measure that the inside wall was also curved, mirroring the one with windows looking out over St James’. The inside wall had two doors in it and – wonder of wonders! – the doors were curved, too.
They’ve asked me to write them a proposal for a piece of work. I doubt it will go anywhere. But still. The power of the mind, eh?