Nearlies gathered with Jia-Yu Corti 2013

Nearly at Chisenhale Dance
Nearly at Chisenhale Dance


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.