Posted by: nickwardscenarios | September 26, 2010

spring 2009

‘Spring’ (2009) felt-tip and chalk design by Nick Ward

Prefatory quote from Peter Ackroyd’s, highly recommended, Thames Sacred River (Chatto & Windus, 2007), Chapter 4, p 23), added here 14 Decemeber 2011:

‘Thames is an old name. With the exception of Kent it is perhaps the most ancient name recorded in England. It is assumed to be of the same origin as that of the rivers Tamar, Teme and Taff; they may all be derived from Celtic ‘tam’, meaning smooth or wide-spreading. ‘Isa’ or ‘esa’ are both versions of a Celtic root word meaning running water, as in the present Ouse and Exe (Oxford is a corruption of Ousenford or Osenford). So we may construct a provisional translation for the Thames as running ooze. But this is merely informed supposition. The word may have another origin altogether. There is a river Tamese in Italy, and the principal town of the Brutii in southern Italy was called Temesa.

There is also a tributary of the Ganges, known in Sanskrt as Tamasa. It derives from Sanskrit ‘tamasa’, or ‘dark’. In the second book of the Hindu text, ‘Ramayana’, there is a chapter on The Tamasa. So the name could be pre-Celtic. It may spring from the primordial tribes of the mesolithic or neolithic periods, who during their wanderings over the earth, shared a common language. The syllable ‘teme’ may indeed indicate darkness, in the sense of holy or sacred fearfulness. It may be very ancient indeed, going back to the first naming of the world. It is a matter of interest, then, that in the nineteenth centuries the Thames was often described as the ‘dark river’ in unwitting echo of its first description.’

speculations on the art-sport overlap zone (added March 29th 2011)

This is a more personal ramble (a future blog), having just painted ‘2010 BRAVO!’ to celebrate Cambridge’s great victory in the Boat Race and having started a portrait of Anne Boleyn.

I’m going to pin ‘2010 BRAVO!’ on the Goldie (Cambridge University Boat Club’s) public notice board and I hope it goes some way to making up for the message ‘too far’ I pinned up following Oxford’s victory in 2006.

So if you feel like a stroll by the river please take your camera and get a site-specific shot of it before it is whisked away for framing and prestigious hanging (in my dreams!).

As I write this on Easter day I’m listening to Rolling Stone Bill Wyman on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire – what the hell is Bill Wyman doing on local radio? –  talking about how important his three daughters are to him and he’s telling us about the wildlife on his old fortified manor house in Suffolk, were he loves to escape.

He has plum trees. Now he’s saying that he’d rather be a plumber or a researcher than a rock star – I can understand that – and how he avoids fame ‘like the plague’ – he’s telling us he used to share a room with Brian Jones in the early days before Brian Jones was drinking a bottle of brandy a day and taking so many downers that they had to shut him out of the recording studio and kick him out of the Rolling Stones; how Brian formed the Stones, the way he worked, played spontaneous sitar, like George Harrison did  – then mastered it or any instrument he could lay his hands or at the least he’d make it work – and add the flourish that made songs like Jumping Jack Flash timeless works – sounds like past-life stuff.

Wyman even makes memories of groupie-swapping sound fun, in a slightly jaded way. The hunger for the East expressed through a bunch of druid re-births is the way Donovan sees it – if I understand him right.

Wyman says the cinema film showing Brian being drowned (murdered) soon after they dumped him ‘ruined my day’ – he rejects  the kind of filmmaking pathology which seeks to fabricate false sensation at the expense of the way a young genius is remembered. The tantric path is to do the opposite with your heroes, as Wyman has done with his beautiful book on The Blues.

Charlie Watts gives his gold discs away to strangers, according to Wyman, such is his rejection of the trappings and tinsel.

nick ward scenarios search-term 15/12/2011: ‘time to go home andy pandy’ – sounds like a typically apt post-race Steve Redgrave quote

Sounds like Andy Holmes, who won Olympic gold with Redgrave in 1984 and 1988. Bill Wyman’s gone and the news is on. Lovely man with his old school husbandry…wish I was a short-hand typist – now it’s the Archbishop of Canterbury not quite retracting his broadside against the predatory abuses of the Catholic Church.

Anne Boleyn is on the way – emerging from the shadows of my mind – fed by what I intuit and by what I surmise to be ‘historically’ accurate.

Mesmerising in body and mind, cultured and vivid. The essence of good pageantry is in the combination of competitive events and the ‘focussing’ of the famous personages.

Boris Johnson as Henry V111 or even Judy Dench as the dying Elizabeth in Richmond are never going to be as interesting as, say, Sebastian Coe and Steve Redgrave boat-jousting on the Thames. So they get dressed up and they watch – they are focussed by an event more interesting than they are and the cameras roll as that point. Story-telling at the point when many, many, millions have reason to watch and the ‘actors’ have no reason to act. The river flows. I quite like not having a camera and I very much like not having a phone. I’m easy to find. Our Thursday photo-shoots are always interesting (with Kirsten) what with all the fun of the fair at Wintercomfort – all the conditions are right – you get paid and, for me, writing about the paintings (etc) is ticking all my the process-is-the-product boxes which mean so much to me.

Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth 1! (added 30/7/2013, as I spell-corrected para above)

Fw: New New Lost City Ramblers?


FROM Nick Ward TO 3 recipients




—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Nick Ward
Sent: Tuesday, 30 July 2013, 12:11
Subject: New New Lost City Ramblers?


I get to sleep in the car with the instruments, Robin and Julie get the tent and Tom gets the B and B. Sounds fair? Story-telling misic event with novelty-act intermissions, including percussion and blues-drenched purple patches, Tom can sit them out with a few sips of fine cider if the mood takes him.


—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Nick Ward 
Sent: Monday, 29 July 2013, 15:43
Subject: Banjo Nick is Ireland-bound


heading off to Ireland middle of next week for a musical-lyrical holiday – this is just to thank you and Robin – and I hope I’ve got my facts right in Paley blog done a bit hurredly

What are Nick Ward Scenarios? They exist in the mind – therefore  in the world.

Dali springs to mind. The Olympic Thames Sculling marathon is a good example of a Nick Ward Scenario. My goal will be build the speed over the race

– so there’s a chance I’ll be over-taking the stragglers at Brentford – I love that reach through the Royal Richmond Deer Park – through John Dee’s time-line and into other dimensions when, incidentally perhaps, the boat seems to surge with a spirit of her own – there’s more river after the lock if you guys want to take it to the full 50ks – or it could have a marquee finish at Richmond Bridge Boathouses.

Richmond Bridge Boat Houses – Master boatbuilder Mark Edwards

Spot the Bargemaster’s blazer of the Vintners Company, as worn by Bill Colley, Richmond Bridge Boathouses, during swan upping on the Thames.

Richmond Bridge houseboat goes up in flames

I am the wounded healer – Centaur is my name

I start last. I love the Anish Kapoor tower in Olympic Park– fantastic work – I’ve loved Kapoor’s sense of form, movement and colour since seeing his ‘blue’ pots back in the late 80s (or was it the early 90s? How time bends!).

Deep artist. Anyway what a great starting line Kapoor’s tower might prove. I can see Boris up there firing his gun before dashing up river for his next engagement. Am I joking?

I’m always thinking about it – the theatre of the future – and about how best to make the most of my talent and ideas. Just had the following idea for the opening of the Elizabethan play off the top of my right back lobe:

Long silence to let everyone settle.

Jester: Speak.

Judy: Give me a subject.

Jester: Subject or object (?) is a fine subject.

This blog is as it was originally written that happy Easter Day 2010 with slight ammendments and picture additions (16-17th Feb 2011) after the photo of  the magical ‘old Royal Richmond Deer Park’ Thames stretch – when my boat always seemed to glide of its own mysterious accord. Winning is a mind game, Sir Steve – as you know better than I will ever dream. catch u.

Steve Redgrave and Andy Holmes (RIP) are pictured above collecting the Olympic Bronze medals they won in the coxed pair in 1988 (with Patrick Sweeney), in addition to Gold in the coxless pair in the same year.

The photo of a very satisfied Steve Redgrave in a single scull at Strathclyde in 1986 is moments after he has become Commonwealth Single Sculling Champion. Redgrave remains undefeated Commonweath Champion in this disipline – the toughest in rowing.

Stephen 'the winner' Daldry x

and here’s one for my old commissioning and (very occasional) weed-smoking associate Stephen Daldry: Gordon Brown versus scientific truth … which is NOT to say that Daldry is a marijuana smoker to this day, I hasten to add (on 17th Feb 2011). I’m talking about 1993 (when Stephen was the newly-appointed Artistic Director of London’s famous Royal Court Theatre) in this blog which was published the day that Professor David Nutt was at the top of the news following his resignation as unpaid drugs advisor to the Brown administration – and I am proud to say it got the thumbs-up from the good Professor who took the trouble to send me an e-mail even as he was at the centre of a shrill media firestorm.

Here is the prized exchange with Professor Nutt (2/11/2009):

Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth and where they did proceed?


Re: For Professor Nutt‏
From: David Nutt (David.J.Nutt)
Sent: Monday, 2 November 2009 9:26:23 PM
To: Nick Ward
thanks - impressive
David Nutt
Professor of Psychopharmacology
Head of Department of Community Based Medicine

University of Bristol
Psychopharmacology Unit
Dorothy Hodgkin Building
Whitson Street
Bristol BS1 3NY
--On 02 November 2009 15:06 +0000 Nick Ward wrote:

> entific-truth/
> With kind regards,
> Nick Ward
> Playwright
> Post Graduate Certificate Course in Radio, Film and Television
> Bristol University (1985)
added 29th March 2011:

Added 29th March 2011:

B.K.S Iyengar: Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

P.39 Five types of Yoga.

Kaivalya pada opens with the contention that prodigious yogic powers
may be inborn, acquired by merit, accumulated through pracice in former
lives. They may also be attained through use of herbs (ausadhi),
incantation (mantra), devoted disipline (tapas), mediation (dhyana)
and total absorption (samadhi).



  1. […] and Daldry (they know me alright) match this: Spring Marathon Sculling Log 2 « Nick Ward Scenarios (if you wish to jump to the technical […]

  2. […] Thamesis […]

  3. […]  The last time I witnessed this was when I was boatman at Furnival Sculling Club in 2007. It is a depressing, Mayor of London (plus Port of London authority)-endorsed, systematic, licensing of River Thames pollution. The shit takes days to clear and can be seen and smelt washing up and down with the tide for a week or so. No one talks about it. Replacing the Victorian pipes, I mean, because politicians don’t really believe that putting a clean Thames at the centre of their policy-making is always going to win votes, whatever the short-term cost. Anyway, who can blame Boris for preferring to pander to his bloated plutocrat mates in the Finance Sector, the types who don’t give a flying fuck about a clean river as long as no one talks about it ?… ah, there’s the rub, the talking, the vital and dynamic debate. The Freedom of Speech. This is a flood warning. Tamesis […]

  4. […] Tamesis […]

  5. […] Tamesis […]

  6. […] Tamesis […]

  7. […] Tamesis […]

  8. […] Tamesis […]

  9. […] and Daldry (they know me alright) match this: Spring Share this:ShareFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  10. […] Boyle and Daldry: Spring […]


%d bloggers like this: