A FRIEND asked me recently if I believe in ghosts and spirits. What followed was a lengthy conversation that did a whistle-stop tour of topics from spirituality to religion; faith to belief; instinct and science; the rational and the irrational. It was one of those wonderful conversations in which you peel back layers of a person and yourself.

I kept thinking that there is still so much unexplained.

At least unexplained to me, because I am self-aware enough to know that there is a huge amount I do not know and that whilst I defy many to challenge me in my knowledge of ‘Emmerdale’ post 2007; how to cook exceptional roasties or whom, within my circle at least, knows more about American Literature from the first fifty years of the 20th Century, there is much about this world and any other world, that baffles and bewilders me.

That is not to say that I am not on a continuing quest to discover, learn, find out and explore.

One happy coincidence recently occurred in ‘Artisans Corner’ in Penarth. I was looking at some pictures that I have often admired and the man from behind the counter wandered over and told me he was the artist. His name is Steve John and I was beyond thrilled to meet him.

The reason being, I have loved his ‘Hugs Art’ work for years. I was particularly pleased as I have been in this shop many times for a browse and he has never been in there before when I have and on this occasion, I had money to spend.

To anyone who doesn’t know his work, think simple line drawings of rounded folk, conveying the most heart-warming images of love, friendship, passion and I think above all, care. We got chatting and I eventually bought an original piece and it shall be hung with happiness on my bedroom wall.

I was struck by two things, first - coincidence, things that happen seemingly randomly, but go on to touch your life to a greater or lesser extent. The other, linked to it I think, is the wonder, that little sprinkle of mythical magic that sometimes seems to get dusted over life and can turn an apparently chance encounter into something meaningful, can elevate the haphazard to the heavenly, can alter a course you thought you were on and divert you from the direction you had planned for.

Now, this is not to say buying a picture is fundamentally spinning my world of its axis, but art, indeed any creative endeavour, reminds me that there is so much wonder in the world, possibility, opportunity. In creating something, we don’t always know what it will turn out like or where it will lead, just as when we meet someone we cannot know where that will take us and change us. But, I believe the world is full of magic.

Whether it is spirits, destiny, luck, fate or plain chance, I am open to and excited by the possibilities.