Wednesday, March 08, 2006

(112) Sean Nicklin

On the morning of May 26th 1995 I left from the house where I was living in London’s West End Lane some ten to fifteen minutes later than usual for work at Sterling Publications, in Paddington.
I had walked a hundred yards or so towards the tube when I was hailed from a passing car.

It was my manager, Sean Nicklin.
He explained that he was driving in from Muswell Hill, and that he did not normally come this way but Finchley Road had looked too congested.
I gratefully accepted his offer of a lift in.

On the morning of Thursday 8th June 1995, Sean asked me which particular areas I would like to pitch on on the new book we were to start the following week; World Infrastructure 1995.
I suggested that I should call two types of company; those involved in Telecommunications and Railways.

"Well actually that is quite appropriate", he observed, "because we had a meeting this morning and wrote down provisionally which areas we were going to assign to which salesman."
He then flipped over a card on which he had scribbled next to my name ‘Telecommunication and Railways.’

In June 1995 I had lunch with Sean. He mentioned the subject of backing horses, the previous day having been the opening of Ascot.
I then recounted to him the Shambolic and Wogan’s Weekly Pennies coincidence of Entry 6.

His reaction was interesting.

"Have you seen the film The Eagle Has Landed?", he asked.

He went on to explain that there is a scene where the German Colonel, Radl asks subordinate, Hofer, "Are you familiar with the works of Jung?"
Radl goes on to outline Jung’s concept of synchronicity, and how the escapade on which they are about to embark, a daring raid to capture Churchill, is feasible because of a fortuitous concatenation of the right time, the right idea, the right man...

Until then I did not know of any reference to synchronicity in this book, and I told Sean how appropriate it was that he should have immediately referred to it, in view of its central position within my narrative.

I had not previously mentioned any interest of mine in coincidences.

And it is actually anachronistic that Jack Higgins should have chosen to include a reference to synchronicity in a work set in the 1940s, because Jung did not refer to it until the publication of his Synchronicity: an acausal connecting principle in the 1950s.

On the evening of April 25th 1996 I was ascending an escalator at Charing Cross.
A man descending on the adjacent escalator waved at me.

It was Sean Nicklin, who by then had left Sterling Publications.

This Wikipedia entry refers to the incident from the film -


Nicklin said...

Hello James, this is Sean Nicklin. I remember our lunch and discussion of synchronicity/Eagle Has Landed etc very well indeed. By way of addition to the story, I had related the same tale to a friend of mine, when talking about films starring Michael Caine (he was the lead in the filmed version of The Eagle has Landed). That weekend following I happened to see your extraordinary exploits with Chris Tarrant. Is it synchronicity, or do I tell the same boring stories ad nauseam...

Nicklin said...

Hello James. This is Sean Nicklin. I remember well our synchronicity/ Eagle has Landed conversation. Actually this has continued further since. Some time back I was speaking to a friend about the film, and got to speaking about the Jung scene, and this lead to me talking about you (my friend had seen some of your chess matches as problems in the E Standard, so recognised your name). A couple of weeks later he rang me to say I should turn on ITV, as you were on Chris Tarrant's quiz. Either there is something in this synchronicity business, or I tell the same boring stories to too many people...

James said...

I thought about you on the very afternoon you sent this comment.

Specifically apropos the passing on the tube stairs.

Hope you and yours are well.

Hope too you enjoy the blog. It´s still sprawling and unwieldy, but I´m rapidly tidying it up and adding links, photos, etc.

Best wishes from Cartagena,