I love dreams, I love big ideas, but I really love it when they come off!  It’s fantastic and just reminds me of what life is all about – the ability to change our reality and our perceptions for better, or for worse. As a species we really do have the power to do this and it’s important that we do.

And I’m not only talking about my own dreams or goals and ambitions. I’m as inspired by those of others as well, if not more so in some cases.  It’s great to see just what you can do if you dare to dream, truly believe and then share that passion.

Yesterday was case in point.  I went to the bank (nothing exceptional or inspiring about that I hear you say, but let me finish) and in keeping with the all new super-friendly Customer Services Policy of all bank personnel these days (at least, so it would seem) the woman serving me smiled beguilingly and asked me how I was and did I have a good day in store for myself? She also asked me if I had a mortgage but I just let that particular line of enquiry wash over me.  I smiled back at her with my own especially beguiling brand of teeth revelation and said yeah, I had a good day ahead of me, just working and she nodded knowingly…..before adding, “would I like a mortgage?” because apparently they’ve got a great deal on at the moment which could save me money.

Tempted though I was by the prospect of acquiring a debt of £100’s of thousands of pounds in order to save myself some money (always a sucker for a bargain me), I kept on flashing my dental work and declined her kind and generous offer, whilst all the time thinking and growing warm inside at the thought of my day ahead. Though my friendly bank teller tried to look as though she understood and could empathise with my day at work, little did she know -or could she know- that my day at work actually entailed covert operations, photo id’s, secret locations, press embargoes and engagement with the Olympic ideal…well how could anyone know that from just looking at me?  But it made me smile when I thought about it and made my way to work.

Yesterday I was in Coventry, famous for… The Blitz, The Specials…naked women riding down the main street on horseback…Night life in Coventry is something to behold I can tell you!  And yesterday I was privy to the first try-outs of Coventry’s offer to next year’s Cultural Olympiad,  which is made real in the form of a giant animatronics Lady Godiva – all seeing (and blinking), head nodding (and turning), hair flowing, fingers moving and arms waving.  This Lady’s got legs – a fine pair of legs in fact – to compliment a face which is full of grace, wisdom, and optimism. Heads will turn and hearts will flutter.  Can’t believe I’m saying this about a puppet, but you wait, you’ll see.

And where there are legs there are invariably feet, and Lady G has indeed got feet, each the size of a small car, because this Lady’s made for walking and that’s just what she’s gonna do.

Next summer, Lady Godiva is going to rise from her centuries long slumber and once again grace the streets of Coventry  (this time in a coat actually…all that nudity thing  is so passé – this is a Lady G to rival anything Gaga’s got to offer – she’s oozing colour, technology, modernity and style) before heading south to London to be an active part of the Olympic festival, frenzy and fury that will be whipping up a storm of art, creativity and spectacle….making 2012 a year of wonder for us all.

So that was me yesterday, being stared in the face by a giant puppet woman – no ordinary woman, no ordinary day at work, no ordinary experience.

Godiva’s now going through her paces – an army of puppeteers bringing her to life and an even bigger army of cyclists set to assist and make real her march to London – she is set to set the streets on fire when she walks. It will be amazing.  People will stop and stare, but actually, she will stop you with her stare. That’s the most arresting thing about this giant vision: her eyes – clear, blue, Olympic sized swimming pools. Jane, whose dream all of this is, said “When she looks at you, it’s like she’s looking into your soul.”  Watch out, Godiva is coming.

A six-metre-tall Lady G, striding through England’s streets, representing hope, optimism and a desire for a better future, better days for us all, is the dream of a Coventry-based theatre company called Imagineer.  What I love about this project is that they dared to dream. It’s cost a fortune and they still need more money to complete the project, but the point is they had a big idea that they believed in and they went for it…and finally, one step at a time (not giant steps like our Lady’s, but every bit as purposeful) they got the people, the experts, the engineers, the puppeteers, the council, the techno-wizards, the designers, the architects, the choir, the performers, the arts council etc. etc. on side and upfront – buying into the dream and make the vision real.

It’s amazing how far your imagination can take you.   From Coventry…to the stars and back.  Dream.  Have faith in that dream.  Show how much that dream and that faith means to you.  Tell everyone you meet about it.  And nothing can stop you, not even the stars.

If you’re going to think, think big.  Why not?  That’s how change happens.

 

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