Northern Soul: The nature of us.

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 .

He replied

that would be fantastic

I replied

Promise you’ll use them. Send me your email address. I’ll send two. Tell me when they’ve arrived.

He replied

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 replied

I have FOUR tickets and I’d like you to have them. Plain and simple .

He replied

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.

26 thoughts on “Northern Soul: The nature of us.

  1. That’s really great! Yes, the seeds we plant wait and wait til the time is right. And then they amaze us.
    Doing good work, man.

    • It’s the little things innit. Truth is that Alec did me a favour by giving those tickets a home. I just wanted to tell the story because I was so moved by him and the perfect timing of it all.

      • Definitely Lemn, the little things, It was a lovely story. But you are still AMAZING! Wish I could bottle up whatever it is that makes people like you so damn compassionate and thoughtful and get a sprinkler plane I would go and sprinkle that stuff all over the place (I would need to delegate the pilot duties though, bloomin scared of heights 🙂 x ) Have a beautiful Sunday you – Ampy xx

  2. Oh my god, I have just read this – I had no idea the event was ticketed, gutted I will miss it, but wish you well Lemn – I just know the Geordie audience will absolutely warm to you and your wonderful poetry… oh and if you’re here early, why not put out one of your “meet me for a coffee” posts, then at least I’ll get to see you and welcome you to the wonderful, warm North East

  3. As always you write or tell stories from the heart.What a great ‘home’ for these tickets.Have a wonderful event and if you make it up to Scotland I hope I get to see you.

  4. Dear Lemn ,just started my day listening to your poem and cant stop smiling.Your words convey such passion and positivity .May you continue always to shine and sparkle xxx

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