I’ve had some serendipity recently that’s made me think there’s some force out there that kind of guides me through life. Here are the things that happened:
Last year I was finishing my MA project and about to move into a one bedroom flat without wi-fi. The day before I moved, my Blackberry packed up. The guy in the mending shop said the battery was dead. (It was, as I discovered months later). At the time I panicked and went to the Phone Shop to get it mended but it was out of guarantee.
It turned out I was due an upgrade. (funny that as it was a year into a 2 year contract). The new phone I got had a wi-fi hotspot, which allowed me to go online in my new flat and upload my college assignments. Had my old phone not died (or even if I’d replaced the battery) I would have found myself needing to find some Internet somewhere to send in my assignments.
* * *
In April 2012, I applied to a local PR company and a painting school in St Ives (45 minute commute each way) for the work placement scheme, and was turned down for both.
One Friday, I went to do some comedy in Truro and met a comedian wearing a clothes peg with Fish Factory on it. I asked about the Fish Factory and he introduced me to Rose who ran it, who was there that evening. Rose and I got chatting and I asked her if she would like to take advantage of the funding to let me do my placement for her arts space. I gave her a lift back to Falmouth, which gave me a chance to arrange to meet up with her and discuss the idea.
I did the placement for the Fish Factory Arts Space, which meant:
1. I didn’t have to commute to St Ives or work in an office.
2. I got to do what I liked doing best: writing press releases to promote events.
3. From doing the press releases, I made contact with the local newspapers.
4. I met people who were from the area, which lead to me having a fantastic birthday party in December 2012 and meeting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. This led on to some wonderful friendships with people who lived in the area, while my college friends mostly moved away.
5. I got to write for the local paper. (See below)
* * *
I started looking for jobs after I had finished my MA. The first one was for the West Briton as a news reporter and I didn’t get the job but almost landed some commercial writing work. The next job was for Fal River to work in tourist information. I didn’t get this job either, but it was a lovely interview and they agreed to help promote my comedy night. The outcomes were:
1. I didn’t have to work early mornings on weekend days.
2. This is the biggie. I then made contact with an old colleague and friend on Facebook who offered me a job. This job was one I had applied to and wanted to do all my life, which is promoting musicians and their recordings to radio and online.
3. It also meant that now my day job combines nicely with the radio shows I do and at 35 hours a week without commuting, it means I can run a monthly comedy night in Falmouth.
* * *
In July, I went to see my family in Surrey for my Dad’s funeral. (sorry to drop that on you).
After missing the link at Reading, I eventually reached my family, missing the pub welcome I would have enjoyed if the train into Reading had been on time. As I reached the table everyone was sitting round, my flip flops, the only pair of shoes I had on me, broke. Therefore:
1. My step brother remembered that he had an unworn pair of Menorca sandals, the shoes that would be the greatest tribute to my Dad, 3 sizes too small for him in the cupboard. He gave them to me.
2. I went back to Falmouth with a hardy, great and stylish pair of shoes (OK) sandals.
* * *
The next day, at my Dad’s funeral, my step-sister and I went up do our readings. My step sister’s poem was lovely and she got a bit emotional. I went to give her a hug and then we swapped places. I was reading out some light-hearted quotes from my Dad’s favourite films but at that moment the atmosphere was quite intense.
I heard a blowing noise and then Claire (step-sis) started patting my hair. Thinking she was making me laugh to ease the tension/my stage fright, I laughed. Then she moved to the microphone and said: “Sorry about that. I had to put Sophie’s hair out as it caught on fire on the candle”. There was a huge peal of laughter and the atmosphere broke, leaving the right mood in the room to deliver 5 amusing quotes from the likes of John Wayne and Rhett Butler.
Afterwards, friends, family and people I’d never met said this would be what they would remember from an otherwise sad occasion. As my Dad was quite a comical person, it seemed like what he would have wanted. (And my Mum too, who had made people laugh with her satirical comments in that church when she thought the sermons were getting a bit too sanctimonious).
* * *
In May this year I found a house in Falmouth that I thought was perfect. The long and short is that I can’t get a remortgage until January, however it would have been much later than that and involved lots of tricky matters I can’t even imagine, if I hadn’t said I wanted to buy it in June, due to the current lending climate and one-size-fits-all money laundering laws.
At one point I was going to be allowed to rent the place in good faith of buying it, which would have locked me in to buying it and been more expensive than where I am living at the moment. I tried my bank, who said the same thing about waiting til January. I was put off the idea of exchanging contracts when a remortgage couldn’t be guaranteed until January, which would have put me at a small risk of losing my entire deposit.
In the end, someone else bought the property, which is fully furnished. Now I am likely to need to house some family furniture, some cool paintings, a large record collection and a pin ball machine, and now have up to January to look at leisure for the ideal place. I’d like to be nearer the beach and avoid a long walk in and out of town through residential areas.
My conclusion to these circumstances is that even when something happens that I think I don’t like, to see what happens next. At times it’s felt quite spooky that there is some force, Mother Nature, God or my parents looking down from heaven, that have better ideas for me than I have. You never know, but if you believe in fate or just in life, things can always turn out for the best.