Life can be the oddest of things…

What a radically “different” week it’s been compared to others of recent vintage. After two weeks of near inactivity, to explode back into life with a variety of things has been refreshing acting as a timely reminder of what I enjoy about life and creativity in general, being in the centre of such things enjoying new experiences.

Monday was the closing date for submittals for the Meet Me At The Windmill project and sure enough, as predicted there was a last minute flurry of entries which I had to download then share with the production team so we could start going through them to cast our votes via a careful scoring system. Tuesday morning had me going through them all and there were plenty of fascinating ideas and concepts. Much double checking too as I had various things to look for and check up on before casting my scores.

Tuesday evening was a strange one. Early this year, I had signed up via LeftCoast Makers to volunteer for Lightpool. At that time we had no idea what events there would be this year for us to be working on until a couple of weeks ago when we were contacted with a timetable of events we could work on. I plucked out 6 in all and here was my first one – Gaia inside the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. What was making this all the more intriguing was this was the very first time I was visiting that iconic part of the Tower complex. It’s one of the most famous ballrooms in the world and no wonder given it’s history and amazing historical design and architecture. You walk in and it’s like “WOW!” I hasten to add I am NOT a fan of “Strictly Come Dancing” so that had nothing to do with my sense of awe whereas it did become obvious it was for a proportion of visitors as I kept overhearing mentions of that show and was asked a few times “Is this where they do Strictly Come Dancing?” No, I have no time for such TV shows (or TV in general) but it HAS made an indelible impact and ensures that the ballroom will enjoy many more years of fame and adoration. I was asked a variety of questions over the evening, the most ridiculous being “Why can’t we have Afternoon Tea?SERIOUSLY. To make that even more absurd, I was asked that by 5 different people and all of them were older than me. The mind absolutely BOGGLES. So, for those of you hoping to sit in the ballroom supping Afternoon Tea in the evening… think again. Afternoon Tea is named thusly for a reason.

Gaia itself is a massive model of planet Earth suspended above the dancefloor, rotating s-l-o-w-l-y. My job for the evening was to hand out leaflets promoting Lightpool, chat with visitors, deal with enquiries and keep a watchful eye on everyone. It was an unusual experience. At 21:00 though, everyone left and nobody else came in. Save for some workmen dealing with scaffolding around the stage, I was very much alone then a moment of wonder came over me as technically for this evening, I was in charge of this famous place, beneath one of Britain’s greatest landmarks. I did feel a little emotional and awed by that fact sinking in. I’ve had an interesting life with many odd highlights (and lowlights) and here I was doing this little task in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Certainly another worthy and fascinating addition to my CV and proof that life can be genuinely unpredictable. When I moved to Blackpool, I never considered I’d end up doing something like this! Just two years ago I was stuck in a small village doing absolutely nothing and going nowhere in my life… well, in October 2017 I had started my preparations to move to Blackpool and was knee-deep in digitising old paperwork, having a massive purge of what I owned, pruning down what I had to lighten my loads… two years later, I’m busy with all manner of things and in the Tower Ballroom… it’s twists and turns like this that makes life a curious beast.

Wednesday morning was much more sobering as it was a decisive production meeting, bringing all the scoresheets together then whittling down the entries to a shortlist of 5 designs to submit to a community panel who collectively will select the winning design to be constructed and grace Waterloo Headland next year. A fun meeting – as always – with some tough decision making. Once settled upon the five finalists I had work to be doing but not before I had my regular meeting with my poet/artist friend in the Hive which ensured I was busy… once home after that, much writing and business dealings.

Thursday was technically a day off though had a fair amount of email and enquiries to be dealing with along with the more mundane stuff like shopping and stocking up on food. Fortunately for you lucky readers I’m not THAT much of a nerd to show you snapshots of what I bought, what I eat and so on. I do write about those amazing things in my journal but I don’t broadcast such trivia on social media. There are some core areas of everyone’s life which are simply not at all interesting. Ahem…

Friday saw more Lightpool duties, this time in the Winter Gardens for the SUN installation. As with Gaia, definitely worth seeing and experiencing. My job was to lurk in the shadows, keeping an eye open on things. Gaia and Sun are on display until Saturday 26th when the Lightpool Festival ends for another year. Next Thursday (24th) I’ll be somewhere amongst the “Carnival of The Lights” spectacle and likewise on Friday with the “Pyronix” show all of which I’m sure will be spectacles never to be forgotten… if one can see them through the large crowds that will certainly be in out in force.

Saturday? I had politely declined to participate in some all day meeting event at some venue. Not something I want to talk about in any detail but for those of you who went who perhaps wondered why I was absent… well, now you know. In the evening I embarked upon one of my rare excursions with the Nikon, attempting to capture sights from Lightpool. They didn’t turn out as well as I hoped but we do have some usable snapshots for the archive. To be honest, I’m much more at home taking candid and unexpected shots than formal postcard type ones!

This week about to start… a variety of activities to keep me busy and dashing about thank goodness much of which I’ll bore you with next Sunday.

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