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Out of the house and into the business district.




I was out walking one day and came across a chap who was selling what he said was venison out the back of a camper van which was when it occurred to me my prospects would improve immeasurably if I had my own transport and didn’t have to rely on the buses to get to important business meetings or sites that could turn into lucrative development and/or logistical spaces. I was passing a bicycle shop at the time and was a little taken aback by how much a new bike goes for these days.

2.A Good Woman

I was out walking one day keeping an eye open for a reasonably attractive and evidently lonely girl who would make a half-decent wife in the near future for an ambitious entrepreneur when it occurred to me perhaps I was putting the horse before the cart, so I went home and arrived just in time to see Mum waving goodbye to Dad, and Dad not waving back.


I was out walking one day wishing I had a dog to go on the end of the leash I was holding when it occurred to me I would very much like “to get into hi-tec”, which as far as I could understand it was where the future was, and the only limits to what might be achieved were the limits of your own imagination. I thought about what it would be like to be at the cutting edge of technological innovation but I couldn’t even begin to think what that would be like.


I was out walking one day to see how far I could get before I lost interest when it occurred to me all of the most successful people I knew had not given up before they began, and one or two of them had not given up even after suicide, faking their own death, or disappearing without a trace. I was thinking in particular of Robert “Jammy” Jarvis, who I was in primary school with until we were kicked out for being too old. I heard he became some kind of chemist but had been chased out of town by law enforcement. I don’t know what he’s doing now, or where, or if he’s still using the same name. I could’ve picked a better example.

5.The Plan

I was out walking one day and admiring the household waste that had been carefully stacked in an almost perfect pyramid by the side of the road when it occurred to me I was running out of time, and what I needed at the very least was a fool-proof plan of action – an “action plan”, if you will – plus a sound business strategy, and a decent amount of investment capital. Probably a plan was the priority, but before that I needed an idea. Then I looked at my watch and realized I was going to be late for tea, and Mum would be annoyed.

6.A Brilliant Idea

I was out walking one day and happened to wander by what I knew to be a hospital and I was thinking how awful it would be to die from some kind of dreadful disease when it occurred to me how brilliant it would be to invent a medicine that would cure all known diseases. You would get pretty rich and famous if you did that, and I wondered why nobody had thought of doing it before.

7.The Letter

I was out walking one day and not taking any notice of where I was going because I was busy inside my head laying the groundwork for the invention of a medicine that would cure all known diseases when it occurred to me that serious gaps existed inside my knowledge bank. I went home and wrote a letter to the government telling them my idea and asking for help by way of, for example, education, funding, institutional support, and resources. They haven’t replied yet.

MARTIN STANNARDs most recent books of poetry are Reading Moby-Dick and Various Other Matters (Leafe Press, 2020) and The Review (Knives Forks and Spoons, 2020). He reviews for Stride and Litter, and lives in quiet retirement in Nottingham with his cat, Xiao Mei. His website is here.

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