No Clowning Theodora

I was talking to someone today (again!) about coincidence.

Amazing how often it comes up.

Coincidence?  I said. I’ll tell you about coincidence:

I am on the train, right? It’s late. I’m thinking about clowns, I mean writing down notes about them and everything.

And I am thinking: this is perfect for the main character in this thing I am writing, right?

I need her to be happiest when hidden behind a mask. Disguised.

Then I step off the train. And it’s nearly midnight, remember And who should step off from the next carriage?Only two people dressed as clowns, that’s all. You wouldn’t credit it. Red noses, yellow and red check scarves, polka dot hats, big flappy shows and everything, right?

But that’s not all. No.

I develop this character further, in this thing I am writing, you know? I know, I told you all that before. And I make her a clown, see; who visits children in hospital. To make them smile

(I need her to be able to move about the hospital, But not like a nurse, or a doctor or anything. Something more casual, but still with a ‘mask’ And popular)

Anyway, that’s not relevant. Craig, the dramaturg, is a bit doubtful. But I keep going with it anyway. Then I go on a train again. This is weeks after. And it is a different train from last time.

And I sit down in the last carriage. And I look up. And I see this advert. Never seen it before. I’m stunned.

Its for this charity that (I’m telling you… no kidding) provides clowns to visit sick children in hospital. And make them smile!

You wouldn’t credit it, would you?

It made me smile.

And this charity  is called the Theodora Trust. First time I have heard of it. Must look it up, I think. Perfect job.

Theodora, eh? That’s not a name you hear often, is it?

So, then, I turn up for this dinner Loads of others are there, well 23; Lebanese Place

The others are all writing stuff as well, like me. Not writers yet. Just writing. Stuff. And this young woman sits down opposite. From Bulgaria, she is. Seems nice. (Nods and shakes her head in all the right places).

And, anyway, she introduces herself. And says her name is…No, I’m not kidding… Theodora! Bloody Theodora. Pronounced without the H. Call me Teddy, it’s easier, she says, seeing the look on my face.

No, I just wanted to check the spelling, I say.


You couldn’t make it up. Well, you could. But I haven’t.

I don’t think I have ever met anyone called Theodora before.

No, she wasn’t dressed as a clown. That would have been odd.