Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection

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Lunch with a clown

The clown tricked me once more and as I leaned in closer to sniff his lapel flower – he laughed

“One thing I know for sure there is absolutely no benefit to staying in the EU.”

I mopped my wetted face and dried my glasses on the edge of my t-shirt. I thanked him for sharing his words and bade him a good day.

(I really need to take more care on where and how I spend my lunch times.)

There is a warning in the centre of Faringdon -” Mistrust a man who never hass, The occasional flash, of silliness”.  But there can also be a warning to never trust a silly man who is absolutely certain on his own ideas.

Doubt and confusion have a place as sure as clarity and assertion are the preference of the managerially minded.

One doubting Radical said:

“One of the most important things in life is … described as ‘that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you’re right.’ If you don’t have that, if you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.”

If you are blessed with some degree of gnawing uncertainty on your EU vote then that is a blessing.

There is no perfectly correct answer to an imperfectly asked question.

But whilst we deliberate what the strategic challenges truly are – doubting that  Bureaucrats in Brussels, Housing in Hemel or immigrants in inner Hants are the real challenge… I will vote Remain and keep my wits about me.





Thoughts and Blogging


Writing a blog post is hard.

Not because I don’t have anything to say, not because I don’t get excited about things – or reflective and ponderous about things. But because thoughts aren’t clear cut. The context is complex and one thing is built upon the other and I cant assume you see the world the way I do or start your day with the same frame of reference that I do.

And above all else I only have 300 words to hang something coherent together.

Ann Augustine shared a link to the above picture on twitter earlier (it comes from a @blurtalert campaign). And taking its message in mind I will shut up now.

Either I will over explain it – or I will become totally inarticulate.

Of course I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. But if you do like an informed bit of advice on blogging in a credible way I recommend this – I found it to be humble and insightful.

My current sub-thought is that if I do become clear and coherent then maybe I become less human. But a sub-sub-thought disagrees.





We always have choices and on this day I choose to feel a bit daft.

Driving along but then ducking off the road – parking in a muddy verge and then loping off into a field with iPhone in hand. I hadn’t expected this and I am arrested by the moment.

Whilst I was snapping away I was aware of passengers in cars going past looking at me. Yes I’m supposed to – and allowed to – feel a bit daft.

But here’s the gig. For whatever the reason – by design or pure chance – a whole field is on fire with poppy redness. A camera can never capture it but from behind the wheel of my car – across the snapdragon yellow bonnet and stretched out forever – is a sea of flowers that I just didn’t expect.

Are they planted and planned or were the conditions ‘just right’? Did they pop, go viral – a groundswell event expressing passion and vitality in this flash of colour. An uprising.  Expected and predicted? Or did you have to be part of the in-group to know it was coming?

But here it is and it’s quite striking and I don’t mind stopping my day and trying to capture it.

What I find is that you need to seize these chances because when winter comes the images are even more precious. (And I’m plucking out these images now and it IS winter  and it is a blue-grey, wet-spray kind of world right now…)


Seeing these poppies – in a field at the start of Halfpenny Lane –  reminded me of the time (2002?) when Farringdon Hill – closer to home – exploded with poppies. A huge field at the foot of the Folly – totally committed to red – unexpected and dazzling to everyone that went past.

Memorable not just for the colour (or the shock of it), but also for the way people responded to the spectacle. The Folly hill, a field that sits at the side of the road – a busy road. People veered off their journeys – pulled onto the verge and walked into the field like pilgrims at Varanasi walking into the Ganges.

It was 10 Years ago – before mobile phones grew eyes – and people clasped their chunky AA-battery powered digital cameras and sought ways to steal a slice of the crimson. The Faringdon Poppies were stunning – I didn’t expect it and I doubt others didn’t either. I’d never seen it before and still don’t know if it is by design or chance that it happened.

But there in that moment we have impact and contrast. And cars and people all stop. And I still remember it.

The snaps below are pictures of my Oxfordshire poppies from last summer. But the picture at the top of the page is from a local artist who captured the Faringdon Folly experience – it’s quite beautiful and a wonderful thing she has painted.

A moment captured.