Nearlies gathered with Jia-Yu Corti 2013

Nearly at Chisenhale Dance
Nearly at Chisenhale Dance

NEARLIES GATHERED AT THE CHISENHALE DANCE SPACE AND JEWISH BOOK WEEK”S LIVE LITERARY LOUNGE AT KINGS PLACE ON FEB 22nd and 24th as part of a performance piece by dancer Jia-Yu Corti and Chris Meade

I nearly died of a rare intestinal condition at 6 months 

I nearly learned to speak Swahili when planning a trip to East Africa. Once there it transpired that my fledgling knowledge of Swahili was for all intents and purposes useless as everyone I came across spoke English. 

I nearly lived the rest of my life in a seminary in St. Paul Minesota

I nearly joined the circus 

I nearly grabbed the wings of freedom but failed 🙂 Maybe next time.

I nearly ate a cashew fruit, but when the girl next to me did her face went numb.

I nearly was Sir Thomas and Dorothy Browne, we were just born in the wrong places at the wrong times…

I nearly missed out of a great opportunity to see some performance art because I only heard about the Literary Lounge yesterday. I’m glad I got the opportunity to be here.

I nearly didn’t fill this card in.

Nearly at Jewish Book Week
Nearly at Jewish Book Week

September 1940 – I’m 9, London is being blitzed. My Dad takes us to Leicestershire – he drives an ammunition lorry. My Gran and I sit in the back, on boxes of TNT and dynamite. I’m warned that if I move I will blow us all up. I sit so still I have to be lifted out when we arrive. I want to sneeze – I do. When I’m out of the lorry. 

“Good job you didn’t do that earlier.” says Dad. “You nearly killed us all”…

I nearly died before my 25th birthday. I was knocked down by a car, my skull was cracked, another half-inch and I’d have been dead. 

I nearly missed Gemma Selzer’s presentation. Nearly – but not quite. Got here for the last few words – well worth it- great fun!

I nearly ate a gecko 


I nearly shat myself today

I nearly died underneath a games machine in 1988 when I pulled it on top of me by accident whilst pretending it was a motorbike. 2 men jumped in and caught it just as it was going to crush me.

I nearly drowned. Lost consciousness. Life flashed before my eyes etc. Rescued by lifeguard.

I nearly accompanied the Heiress to the Unilever Empire on a walk along the Thames one sunny day. She lived in the bedsit next to me in a house in the mid 1980s.

I nearly won the lottery which I thought was hilarious given that I’ve never bought a lottery ticket in my life and this one was bought for me as a joke. I was only one number out on the ticket – a 9 instead of an 8! I thought of trying to work out the odds, more as a giggle than wondering, gosh, do people really win the lottery? I wasn’t convinced to buy another ticket, by the way. One ‘nearly have’ was it.

I nearly fell off a horse when I was 11 (then I actually did when I was 12!)


I nearly leapt from the Eiffel Tower, but the croissant was so alluring. I knew it would kill me too, but over decades, the butter leaving its oily residue.

I nearly was a mother 3 times before actually giving birth but time and circumstance did not allow. I often wonder what it would be like to have 4 children and not one.

I nearly was murdered outside a pub in New Cross London 2004. Luckily the no 21 bus arrived and the attackers left to further adventures that night.

I nearly left London and bought a barn in Yorkshire and moved there to open a pottery studio but travelled to Africa instead (good decision!)

I nearly went to live in Sicily as had a job as a teacher there. However I intentionally missed the train to arrive for the beginning of term and although I felt guilty because the staff were waiting for me at Palermo station, I knew it was the right decision.

I nearly was flushed down the loo by my sister when I was a baby. But my mother came into the bathroom at the right moment.

I nearly..wrote something…

I nearly ended up living my whole life as a lie.

I nearly didn’t exist. In our family was the story “we were supposed to have travelled on the Titanic”

I nearly found what I’m looking for! x

I nearly.. got arrested by a Russian border guard because my visa wasn’t in order.
I managed to talk him out of it.

I nearly said something I shouldn’t.

I nearly learn to tap dance, but then my grandfather died.