A Rainbow of Serendipity

by Di Chorley

Winner of the 2005-06 PWG Best Article Competition


In ancient times when the world was still flat there was a tropical island which the inhabitants thought of as paradise. It was the centre of their world, and was called Serendip. This was the old name for Sri Lanka, before it was ever named Ceylon.

The ruler of the island, King Giaffer, had three sons. These three Princes of Serendip, according to folklore, were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.

This fairy story is a tale of Chaucerian robustness and lewdness, and was lost for some centuries. The letter writer, Horace Walpole, son of the English Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, re-discovered it in the 18th century, and coined the word serendipity to explain the phenomenon, enjoyed by those three Princes, of making lucky or fortunate discoveries by accident.

Ser-en-dip-ity - the word itself has a glow, is like a musical note, and is full of colours, according to its energy. Words are living things and one of their properties is colour. Serendipity holds a range of colours within its scope, according to the energy of its type of luck. If there is a song of serendipity it surely must have been composed by chance, by a young, happy person gazing with wonder at a rainbow, whilst lying amongst lavish cushions, in one of those sumptuous garden swings with a fringed shade.

I fight shy of trying on clothes. Whether I am trying to prune my wardrobe, or shop for something new, I dislike parading myself in front of strangers, or even family. However, on some occasions lady luck can shine.

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