My wife and I were fortunate enough to gain VIP tickets to the world premier of Alastair Lee and Leo Houlding's latest film; The Last Great Climb last Monday night.
Whilst Alastair Lee as a film maker and director is not particularly well known in mainstream movie making, within the climbing community, his films are extremely well known for their excellent production and unusual flair and style. This coupled with Leo's taste for adventure and willingness to take on the seemingly impossible, meant that we were looking forward to their latest film with great excitement.
The premier was to be held in the Vue cinema in Leicester Square in London, and as the parents of 2 young children, we had pre-arranged babysitters and this was to be my wife's and my first child free night for some years. This was already a big night for us for that reason alone, as well as my Brother-in-Law being part of the cast!
Needless to say, the event was great a true success; free bar, media attention, a spectacular film, a Q&A session with the cast afterwards, followed by drinks, some more drinks and the evening rolling on the early hours of Tuesday morning with a few hardcore crew. Only the four members of the cast, my wife, myself and my sister-in-law were left standing at the end of the evening.It was a great opportunity to chat with the four adventurers that took up the challenge and survived the climb.
Two days later, I happened to be having an evening meal with a colleague, Roger Hughlock. I had only met Roger once before, and that was only in passing, a brief introduction at a conference. We share a hygienist and she had suggested that we would get on very well and I'm always keen to meet colleagues more experienced than myself to listen, learn and exchange ideas.
Roger is known for his love of coincidence, or as he prefers to call it, 'syncronicity' and has many, many stories of it's occurrence. Roger lives in Leyland, not a place I've ever had reason to visit and we had agreed that he should choose the venue.
We ended up at the delightful Red Cat, (which I would thoroughly recommend) and as we sat down for our meal, I glanced at the picture hanging on the wall next to me. It was a beautiful Lakeland landscape shot taken by none other than Alastair Lee, who I had been out with 2 days previously! Now what are the chances of that happening? Roger was delighted - another story for his collection.
Is there such a thing as pure chance and coincidence, or are our paths inextricably linked by fate?