Nearly Blog

Nearly @ The Crouch End Festival

How do you live with what you’ve nearly done?
How do your nearly stories influence who you really are?
Thursday 14th JUNE – SUNDAY 17th JUNE
46a Topsfield Parade, Tottenham Lane N8 8PT
Friday 15th JUNE 2 – 4pm (free but places limited – use the contact form or email to reserve a space)
Digital author Chris Meade leads a unique book-making session
Sunday 17th JUNE 3 – 5pm

with Nearly Songs by chris & the ifso

Chris Meade, Abbie Coppard, Iain Stewart, Alistair McEachern
“Funny, challenging, moving, tuneful, strange”
s-l1600-1 2



almost, nearly, all but, kind of, about, nigh

near, close, close to, closely, at hand, nearly




(Google translations)
We’re on the way back from seeing our son Joe and his family in Stockholm. In the local cafe today the owner asked about my badge and then told me this story. He’s also signed up to this blog so Jaques may want to send his own version and/or some other nearlies.
For now…

“I nearly… went with a local shepherd to explore the mountains of Nepal.

I was trekking with my then girlfriend and a friend in the Himalayas, a sherpa as our guide. We stopped at a habitation in the mountains and a woman came out with her baby in her arms, invited us to stay the night, shared her food with us. It was beautiful. The next morning we prepared to leave and she said, “My husband is a shepherd, he is coming home today. Why don’t you stay for a few days and he could take you walking in the hills?” I wanted so much to do that but the others said we had to get going. I still wonder what that would have been like.”

  • Told by  Jaques, Lilla Bagis cafe and bakery in Bagamossen, Stockholm.


Bagamossen, Stockholm


Nearly Man

I went to the South Bank Centre’s Being A Man Festival yesterday and heard a lot about men and mental health, the fact that 79% of suicides are male and that suicide is the main cause of death of young men in the UK. I spoke to volunteers from The Samaritans (where my Dad was a volunteer in the 1970s), and the wonderful CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably. All very inspiring. I talked to people about Nearlyology and began to think that with the pressure on males to succeed and fix things, the topic of what we’ve nearly done may have a special resonance. Nearlysex – which covers sexual failures, fantasies, harassment, friendships etc… is also a topic I’m keen to help men explore.  Years ago I was in men’s groups and ran workshops with men, one for boys in a Sheffield youth club, talking about all kinds of difficult things.  More recently I attended a Death Cafe (with my daughter, soon after my Mum died), and enjoyed the open conversation around this taboo topic that everyone has something to say about, from the heart wrenching to the hilarious. Now I’m thinking about a men’s Nearly Cafe event somewhere soon.

Nearly Badges

Wearing my ‘I nearly’ badge still has interesting results. Man in Tesco Metro Hornsey last night asked what it was about. I told him I gathered stories of nearly things and asked if he had one. Immediately he said he’s nearly been in a band. He plays the drums, was invited to join but didn’t feel confident enough at the time. Since then the band has broken up but his confidence as a drummer has grown. Maybe next time. I gave him my badge.

And the waitress in Cafe Circus, Crouch End, asked what the badge was about. I gave her my card and she looked at the site, said she really liked the idea. I thought she’d send me her Nearly Story, but she hasn’t… yet.

Nearly Post

This email arrived recently:

Dear Chris,

About a year ago, my friend Ariel nearly wrote to you for your book about things people have nearly done. But, as he never quite got round to it, I’ve written to you instead.

Kind Regards,



Dear Zoe,

Thank you so much for this interesting nearlyological information. Can I put it on the site? And would your friend Ariel still like to write about his Nearly for me? I’d be absolutely delighted to read it.
Yours nearly,

Dear Chris,

Of course you can upload it the website. As to the second request, if Ariel wrote to you himself it would de-nearly-ify the story as he would then have completed the action and it would cease to be relevant to your project!
Yours definitely,

Chris & Camilla make Nearly Music – Palermo, October 2017

Nearly Married

I gave a talk on Nearlywriting at JW3 in London in the spring of 2017 and am grateful to Abi Symons for sending me this photo of her great grandfather and the woman he – nearly – married. See the handwritten note on the back: “The lady did not become his wife.”

Ambient Nearly

Hear Andy Leung’s fantastic track featuring my reading of the Nearly Manifesto – and then keep listening to his music. Andy performed in Trafalgar Square at recent Chinese New Year celebrations, and he was a member of Academy Inegales. He’s promised to put out a new track every month.