“BBC Radio4, what a pity that the podcast of my interview today will be online for only one week.” — Paulo Coelho
I was about to leave the house, my finger was poised to turn off the radio (and it was only on for a couple of minutes for top of the hour news) when I heard that Paulo Coelho was on in half an hour. [ see iplayer]
My lovely friend Sian was not well. I had sent her flowers to wish her well, and within seconds of my hearing Paulo Coelho was on in half an hour she had sent me a lovely message thanking me for the flowers. I was to reply to say it was the least I could do, let her know Paulo Coelho was on BBC Radio 4. I then checked my messages and found that whilst I was writing to her Paulo Coelho had sent me a message to let me know he was on the radio within 20 minutes.
I let my lovely Latvian friend Liudmila know who just happened to be in Egypt. It was her birthday the day before. For her birthday I had a copy of My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk. The reason I was on my way out the house was I was on my way to a book club discussion on My Name is Red. Well I thought I was. I got the right day, but wrong week. It was the previous week, but apparently went down quite well.
My lovely Russian friend Alissa had recommended to me My Name is Red. We were at the the time discussing The Alchemist. My first contact with Paulo Coelho was a lovely girl from either Lithuania or Latvia who was completely engrossed in The Zahir and she recommended I read Paulo Coelho.
The previous day I was at a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. A fund raising event for Professional Carers Benevolent Fund (they raised over £150). Myself and one of the girls there was talking about El Camino de Santiago and Paulo Coelho walking the route which led to The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist.
The programme was a excellent. I found it a very moving account of the life of Paulo Coelho, interspersed with beautiful readings of The Alchemist and the thoughts of readers on The Alchemist, one of who much to my surprise was my friend Elaine from who I had just read a message that morning.
But why no publicity from the BBC for this excellent programme and why is it only being held on-line for 6 days?
Please BBC repeat the programme again and again and can we please have a reading of The Alchemist by the man who read the selected passages?
The Alchemist has sold 42 million copies. It has almost been three years in the New York Times best seller list. Paulo Coelho this month exceeded over a million individual visitors to his blog!
Synchronicity: meaningful coincidences, coincidences that are so improbable that they cannot be explained by chance alone.