It's been a quiet week. I'm still trying to move house so most of Thursday and Friday were spent packing boxes and scrubbing down floors in my old place, whilst listening to the abject English performance on test match special. I'm not really at my happiest when doing domestic stuff and this coupled with the ridiculous capitulation at Headingly put me in a bit of a funk for a couple of days.
On Saturday I went to a friend's birthday party and fell into a conversation about the Walpole project, with a softly spoken medium, who is writing a PhD on photography and magic. She told me about the 'Shew stone mirror' that Horace had in his collection. It originally belonged to the Elizabethan alchemist Dr Dee, who was allegedly Shakespeare's influence for Prospero in The Tempest. She told me it had potent powers and is very respected by the ghost community. Apparently, Horace treated it with great reverence
So this morning I set out to the British Museum to hunt the mirror down. It's rather beautiful sheer black unblemished volcanic stone that Dr Dee would look into to conjure up angels and spirits that to appear through his medium Edward Kelly. They would help Kelly to point to a grid of prepared answers. Dee believed this was a way of understanding the future. Originally the stone came from Mexico, brought back on an early plunder of Aztec treasures.
I wonder whether it might have a phantasmagorical role to play in our show. Already we've been talking about bringing in the ghost of Walpole back as the narrator to the show - perhaps there something in the smoke and mirrors of his collection that might provide us with a clue.
'Does Walpole know about your show?' asked the medium, 'It'd be good to get him on board, especially if you're planning to do it in the house. I'll have a word!'
'Great' I replied 'and while you on the wavelength could you also see if Jack Hobbs, Denis Compton and W.G Grace are doing anything Thursday week? We need to win at The Oval.'
'Mmmm' she said shaking her head, 'connection with the other side is one thing. Miracles are quite another!'