Last Wednesday was interesting. I’d been invited to a presentation about copper mining in Botswana. The invitation was related to the possibility of me investing in a mine – something that’s not likely to happen. However, Wilbur Smith has been one of my favourite authors for over 30 years, so the romantic impression he’s created in my mind of bounty-hunters in the Kalahari led me to the basement of a St Paul’s wine bar to listen and learn.
It was good networking. I sat next to one of the key investors, who invited me to join him for a fact-finding mission in Thailand. I’m not going. He told me people often mistake him for (a younger) Hugh Laurie, although his behaviour was more Hugh Grant. He held my glass of Merlot while I checked my phone, as he had no signal on his… and he sipped a bit!
Didn’t stay for the sausage and mash buffet; we had dinner instead at the beautiful St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. I’ll be interested to watch the share prices of the mines though – both in Botswana and Thailand – it’s something different.
Having studied linguistics, I should probably have been more excited about the weekend’s celebrations of Shakespeare’s death. I haven’t actually read much Shakespeare but I like knowing which words he made up, like barefaced and dwindle. He’s also to thank for some commonly used phrases, such as ‘all that glitters isn’t gold,’ ‘break the ice’ and ‘in a pickle.’ All of which applied to me at some point this week!
We had planned to attend a Shakespearian poetry recital at Elizabethan Hatfield House on Sunday, but decided to scrap that idea in favour of supporting a street festival in Whetstone, in north London. Wandering along, warming my broken hand with a paper cup of frothy hot chocolate, the most inspiring stall was a collection of works by local artists.
Philip owns a number of pieces by one of the ceramicists who was there. She was proudly displaying her wares despite the bitter cold of late afternoon. Karen Cohen specialises mainly in one-off organic inspired pots, taking a particular interest in the texture and surface of the piece. She works with Raku fired pieces, experimenting with shape and the lustrous glazes typical of this type of firing.
It’s a wonderful thing when someone can create a business from their hobby. To be passionate about your work is one of the most satisfying ways to live.
This may be a very tenuous link to the Bard, but it’s the best I can come up with on this chilly Monday morning. “You can fall for chains of silver, you can fall for chains of gold. You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold.” I didn’t really appreciate Mark Knopfler back in the day, but this has been one of my favourite songs for two decades, and Ben plays it beautifully on his Zebrawood guitar. (Gill, you don’t like Dire Straits, do you…?!)
“I’ll promise you anything, I’ll promise you thick and thin…” Actually, I don’t promise anything I can’t deliver. Tell me what you need and I’ll tell you how I can make it happen – ask me here: @WeekendWitch.