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Finding Peter

"he passed under the bridge and came within full sight of the delectable Gardens" - Arthur Rackham

It was Spring 2014 when I first found out about J.M.Barrie's prequel, 'Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens' and from the very beginning there was a sort of magic about it. It was my birthday and I had asked to visit to Stratford-Upon-Avon, where I had lived and worked happily in 2012 (and where we now live on our boat): The town, with it's connections to Shakespeare (a.k.a. The Boss) is special to me and I enjoyed the day visiting my favourite places. This included a visit to The Pickwick Gallery (sadly, now closed), which sold antique prints. I was drawn to an image that I recognised as being by the artist Arthur Rackham, who's illustrations of Shakespeare plays I already knew; it showed a baby in a boat (a nest with a shirt for a sail). The caption read, ' he passed under the bridge and came within full sight of the delectable Gardens - Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens'.

I just loved it and bought it, but did not recognise the image from the story I knew of Peter Pan, so I googled it - and there it was - a whole new story, based on J.M.Barrie's 1902 book, 'The Little White Bird', published as a Children's book in 1906 following the success of Peter Pan on stage. I had never heard of it - but I eagerly read the story, still with no idea at this stage where this little image would eventually lead me. When I got home I hung the picture in a conveniently empty frame above my bedroom door, the frame was painted with a message; 'Faith is the first step on the path to your destiny'. I never dreamt at the time that finding this story was going to be the first step on the path to mine.


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