Follow the butterflies

'It's the butterflies that lead to the magic.'

 I had dinner with my brother the other night. He works in advertising. Perhaps not the first industry that comes to mind when you're thinking about magic.

But he told me about an advertising company that have a practice of gathering the creatives into a dark room that has a gas fire in the middle – literally replicating the sense of sitting around a fire at night.

Then, they start to tell each other stories.

Slowly, ideas for their projects begin to build, and when they start to feel the 'butterflies', they know they have found the magic.

This all might sound a bit crazy but...

'There's no point trying to create anything in life without the butterflies,' said my brother, 'because it takes magic to really make things happen.'

I think he is absolutely right.




Magic among the stars?

I don't know about you, but...

 I'm blown away by the news that NASA has discovered seven new planets.

But what really interests me, is the fact that almost every report I've read has eagerly flagged up the fact that we can now crack on with looking for aliens.

"Not just one, but seven Earth-sized planets that could potentially harbor life have been identified orbiting a tiny star not too far away, offering the first realistic opportunity to search for signs of alien life outside the solar system."
The New York Times

"Seven Earth-like planets have makings of Alien life"
The Australian

"Exoplanets found orbiting Trappist-1 raise hope that the hunt for alien life beyond the solar system can start much sooner than previously thought."
The Guardian

I can remember solemnly telling my Primary school teacher that aliens do exist. And she told me in no uncertain terms that no, they most certainly do not.

As much as grown-ups like to wear suits and pretend to be sensible and important, like that teacher, I am happy to think that deep down, most people want to be as awe-inspired and believing as an eight-year-old kid.


Magic gadget

Alright. I confess.

I was in a technology shop yesterday, the branding of which is named after a fruit. I've always used their products – partly because I'm a sucker for elegantly designed things and partly because I am a technophobe. They're easy to use.

This brand is famous for its slick, sleek and shiny marketing – and as a result, their little gadgets have wormed their way into the very fabric of modern Western culture.

I picked up one of their newest phone models, inwardly marvelling at its perfectly bevelled edges. As I turned it over in my hand, the screen lit up and three adjectives appeared – I can't remember what the first two were, but the third one was 'magical'.

I thought, wow – even when you're at the cutting of the newest, most modern ideas - magic is still where it's at.


Tree imps in the fog

Walking home last night was almost like being on a beautiful film set.

 All around me, everything was twinkling with frost.

My feet crunched on the brick pavement, strangely noisy in the thick silence. A heavy fog had rolled in, like a wash of intense watercolour – china white mixed with a dab of indigo.

The street-lamps shone through the fog like gleaming beacons.

And then I looked up and saw these dancing branches – I thought they looked stunning.

And when I think of them now, I can see them morphing into leaping, giggling, gangly-limbed imps...


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A visit from the Snow Queen

I'm not a big fan of the cold.

 So when I saw a slew of excited posts about snow in my area on social media, I will admit to a grinch-like inward groan.

But after a few minutes, I went to my door and looked out. There was the snow – proper, fluffy, swirling chunks of it spinning down from the sky, dancing through pools of street lamp light, and falling soundlessly across all the land.

I was surprised to find myself feeling thrilled at the sight of – it really did feel like a magical visit from some kind of winter spirit.

I thought I'd share with you a picture of me as The Snow Queen. Beware strange women in the street offering you Turkish Delight!