For almost a year now, we have lived and breathed Land of Green Ginger. From the cache of crates discovered under the city back in April, we have found ourselves on an adventure leading to six unforgettable Acts of Wanton Wonder; 7 Alleys in East Park, The Gold Nose of Green Ginger in Bransholme, The Longhill Burn, Re-Rediffusion’s Voice Park in Pickering Park, Micropolis in Springhead Pumping Station, and the culminating Land of Green Ginger Unleashed, roaring through the city centre last night.
One thing I have been mulling over recently; how long since we have all been children? For myself and Jean, some fifty years now.
When we first moved into our home – almost four decades ago now – I found a rocking horse I was given on my fifth birthday. I remember it vividly; his shiny red bridle. The coarseness of his hair through my fingers. When I rode that horse, I was John Wayne, The Lone Ranger, Rawhide Kid. When I sat on his back, I wasn’t in our front room; I was free and anything was possible. I called him Mr What, after the Grand National-winning horse of that year.
You might well wonder where this story is going. When we were clearing out to move, I came across Mr What. I’d forgotten he was there, thrown up in the attic with a blanket over him, long-neglected since adult life took over. And yet, the moment I saw him, it was like yesterday again – the excitement of sneaking down early to find him, set out by the window with a yellow bow on his neck. His smell. The uncomplicated, pure magic of him taking me everywhere and never moving an inch.
In many ways, Land of Green Ginger has been like rediscovering Mr What. When we were first called in to look at the crates, we treated it like any other investigation, but it quickly became apparent that this was absolutely no ‘ordinary’ experience. It was unpredictable, but somewhere in the back of our minds, strangely familiar; like finding a childhood toy you know every corner of, but haven’t seen for decades.
It is easy, perhaps, to get involved in the intricacies of everyday life. What to have for tea, who’s picking the children up, what shopping we need…the swift onset of all-consuming technology means we’re no longer only occupied with our own lives, but that of others too – a blur that has us all jostling for a mythical projection of what’s expected of us.
All this time, Land of Green Ginger has expected nothing from us, save for a curiosity and willingness to open our minds to the what could happen. In many ways, it has done the impossible: made a group of somewhat grizzled, slightly cynical investigators believe in magic again. The little people beneath the pavements. The sheer power of our individual voices. The living, breathing legends spun out of the darkness.
We believe Land of Green Ginger Unleashed is the final Act from Land of Green Ginger, comprising everything we have learnt and seen over these eight months. Who knows if it will return? For now, the childhood toys have been packed up back into the attic, waiting to be re-discovered with the same sense of joy. And that’s the wonderful thing about magic; it never goes away. It just waits to be found.
Thanks to each and every one of you for supporting. And more than anything, for believing.
Yours, as always,