Two weeks back I received four complimentary tickets for the opening ceremony of The Great Exhibition of The North. I’ll be performing my Anthem for The North, from the bridge in the photo above, at the ceremony in Newcastle on Friday June 22nd at 7/30pm. But how to give them away? The tickets. Offering them free on facebook and twitter would be too hectic. The “comps” have been burning a hole in my conscience and the event is in two days. I got home last night at 10pm and out of the blue I received this direct message via twitter at 10.30pm.
Hi Lemn , hope you’re well. I see you’re busy as always…. I just wanted to send you a message to wish you all the best for The Great Exhibition of The North. I was hoping to get along and catch up with you, but unfortunately the launch of the event is ticketed, the release of which, saw unprecedented interest and as a result I was unable to secure a ticket for it. … so I will make do watching it on TV, looking forward to hearing what yo’ve done for it.
It was the perfect opportunity to offload the tickets. (He attached a poem that came from an arvon course I taught which is where I met him) I replied
Alec would you like two tickets .
that would be fantastic
Promise you’ll use them. Send me your email address. I’ll send two. Tell me when they’ve arrived.
Oh Indeed Lemn , I was gutted I didn’t manage to get hold of any. I will be the one whooping and waving as you step up to your piece, along with thousands of others
If my wife Angela is well enough she will be with me and it will be our first date since our daughter’s (Lillian) rare condition was diagnosed (we have help but generally have provided 24 hour care as her condition is so variable) and my cancer which were both back in 2014, Angel has the same condition as Lillian and has been quite poorly and as ever in the House of Jordan we smile, we laugh, we live, we love…. life. If Angela (Angel) isn’t well enough, I have one or two people in mind who I know will be available who have been a great support to me and my family… I have to admit I’m feeling quite emotional about your kind offer Lemn….
I have FOUR tickets and I’d like you to have them. Plain and simple .
Thankyou Lemn , I am truly touched . I have them Marra….
Marra is Geordie for friend or pal. It comes from Norse. He says much about the poem he sent earlier which came from my workshop at Arvon some years ago. It is a heart rending story. At the end he wrote
I decided to let you know, those seeds you sow may take a while to germinate but they come to fruition, it may not be what I write normally, but these words go as deep as the pits my grandfathers hewed the coal out of Big Love
Why have I put up this exchange between a North East man, his family and this North Western poet and his complimentary tickets? Because this is Northern Soul. And when I walk on stage on 22nd June I will be thinking of this family and the nature of family and the nature of us.
Names have been changed and permission has been granted to write this blog.