Yesterday I skipped a meeting to have tea with a new friend. I say friend because I feel Michaela knows me so well having read a draft of my latest paper. I got some great advice about what I’m trying to express in my writing and what I need to keep reading. In short, I need to better acquaint myself with Bourdieu.

So I was late for the meeting (with my boss, George). I arrived. It had just finished. He called me into his office…

…for a chat. He wasn’t bothered that I’d missed it. I don’t think I was the only absentee. We talked over a few on-going things, both work-related and more interesting stuff. He reminded me that we’ve a visiting professor from Europe right now whom I’d not yet met, and that I should introduce myself. As I left his office, our visitor came by. An hour and a half later I was brimming with inspiration but realised I was late for my Italian class. I’d told Daved, our guest, a little bit about myself and some of my current research and he showed me so many cool projects he and others have done that I can draw inspiration from in my own work. I left buzzing with ideas and thinking about things I might share with him in exchange.

Today, I saw Daved and George again. I was passing through their conversation, but wanted to stop and share before I dashed off again. Daved had to go too, so we postponed until tomorrow. When I got to where I was going, I found myself chatting again. I met a mate I hadn’t expected to see. Ian, my mate then introduced me to an interesting fellow called Justin. He told me about a project he’s working on, which also gave me some ideas about my own. After lunch I unexpectedly and unintentionally met somebody I’ve heard about in different circles, including from George. Laura is in town for just a couple of days and it was a last minute decision for her. After a couple of chats that afternoon, Laura had learn a little about me and offered me plenty of encouragement. I’m sure you can imagine how this compounded my inspiration reserves. I’ve enough to carry me through to 2013! And guess what… Laura hadn’t seen George in years, and is also a longstanding friend of Daved. Laura was so pleased to hear Daved is in town. I emailed George and soon he was on the phone with Laura adjusting his and Daved’s plans for the evening to catch up with Laura. I think I’d, at least in part, returned their favours.

These serendipitous events have been truly inspiring. One one level, the fact that each of these chance happenings occurred as they did astounds me. On another, each encounter enriched my self. It will take a while for me to fully reflect on all that happened in those 24 hours, and to work on all the ideas and insights I gained, but wow what a day!


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