Thursday, September 09, 2010

Madge, Abandon Reason And Let Saint Serendipity Into Your Life


I bough this old postcard for a few pence at an Antiques Fair last week. There was no reason behind my choice.  Faced with a box stuffed with two or three hundred old photographs and postcards and time constraints set by a higher authority (the Good Lady Wife had set me free for thirty minutes whilst she explored Marks and Spencer's in York), I had to make some rapid decisions. I could have used reason, established a set of clear criteria, and painstakingly worked my way through the cards, applying criteria, establishing priorities and painstaking building up a short-list of possible purchases. I could have, but I didn't. I said a silent prayer to St Serendipity and plunged in, extracting a half-dozen cards at random. I didn't even examine them, I just paid my £2 and took them home to explore them at a later date.

I am a great lover of reason and a great believer in its' power for universal good. When it comes to the "big" decisions in life - decisions about political systems, economic structures, competing beer choices - I will go with reason every time. Back in the days when there used to be a question about "religious beliefs" on official forms I would always write "rationalist", only giving the practice up because too many people mis-read my handwriting and feared (or in some cases hoped) I had written "nationalist". But just like an Arsenal fan might occasionally admire the graceful footwork of Didier Drogber, or a jazz-head might hum a Abba tune, I sometimes welcome fickle, non-rational, serendipitous chance into my life.


Whilst trying to think of something to write for this week's Theme Thursday, I decided to review my chance purchases of last week. The postcard isn't particularly special. It is about 100 years old and it shows a view of the Indian Lounge in Blackpool's Winter Gardens. The card is torn and dog-eared and has seen very many better days. From what can be interpreted from the message from Madge on the reverse of the card, she too had seen better days than the ones she was spending in Blackpool. "Will you come to tea with us tomorrow?" she asks the unnamed recipient. "There isn't much pleasure in going away anywhere on these holidays, is there? Except if you havent any other time". I do rather sympathise with Madge, but I would urge her - if she is still there in Blackpool, in the rain - to abandon reason and welcome St Serendipity into her life. Don't think too much about things, just go out there and take a chance.

This is a THEME THURSDAY post. Take a look at the other Theme Thursday posts by following the links from the Theme Thursday Blog.

18 comments:

  1. Poor Madge. Let's hope she isn't stuck in limbo, waiting for something exciting to happen.

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  2. Great posting Alan.

    I've only ever been to Blackpool through my vintage postcard collection and also a song called "Going Up The 'Pool" by Jethro Tull, which opens with the lines "We're going up the `pool from down the smoke below / to taste my mum's jam sarnies and see our Aunty Flo".

    I have a clear image in my mind of what I think Blackpool is like and am almost scared to go there in case I'm way off the mark.

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  3. and i think she would do well to listen to you...smiles. happy tt alan

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  4. I liked this post. First, because it is well-written, and second, because I like to have a peek into the minds of other people without them knowing it. Your Madge fits the description of many, doesn't it? I have never been to England, much less Blackpool but of the two words, the latter has the best ring to it to me -- Blackpool. Must be a fascinating place.

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  5. Wonderful post! you, obviously, are a favorite of St. Serendipity.

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  6. "Don't think too much about things, just go out there and take a chance." that is so true, sometimes we waste precious time thinking too much...
    Great post!
    :)

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  7. Excellent take on "reason", Alan. Good work!

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  8. I hate to be forced into making rapid decisions, but you did well, my friend.

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  9. I think reason is overrated. Great post!

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  10. Rationalist! I love it!

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  11. There's lots to like about this post, but the phrase I like best is "competing beer choices"... now THAT requires a rationalist! :-D

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  12. "And catch those falling stars in the morning"... great advice, my friend! :) The Bach

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  13. The wonder of serendipity!

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  14. Ahh St. Serendipity has led me to some fabulous sights through the decades, and become a fast friend. Perhaps even a little too good of a friend from time to time. Reason is always good solid footing to back the old decisions, but all too often, more than I should, I just throw the cards in the air, and let St. Serendipity do the choosing.

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  15. Non rational but coherent to make quick good choices in a pinch. I liked the postcard and it's place in history. Colors are cool so to speak.

    apint is your word verification for me to today. Huh!!!!

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  16. what an excellent post!
    serendipitous randomness

    (poor madge)

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  17. I do like serendipity

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