Let’s start at the very beginning.
It happened on a sunny afternoon when I was nine. My sister and I were spending perfectly blissful time at our friend’s house just down the road, when mom and dad showed up and announced we were going to go see a movie called ‘The Three Musketeers’.
I was appalled. I had no idea what these ‘musketeers’ were supposed to be. Worse, live-action? With adults in it? Double horror!
But, when you’re nine you don’t get a pick on family entertainment, so sis and I said bye to our friend and got in the car, grumbling, pretty much determined to be unhappy.
That afternoon my life changed forever.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly that. If we go back far enough in time, maybe something called The Black Stallion, which I have no actual memory of but which my mom said had inspired me to start carrying a lego horse around the house when I was three, was the real starting point. And maybe my predictable obsession with My Little Ponies around the same age had already made me positively predisposed towards horses. But something happened in that movie theater. At the point when people were riding horses and shooting call-to-arms notes at wooden poles and fences, I remember thinking to myself, wide-eyed, absolutely transfixed: “This is exactly what I want to be doing in life at this moment.” Not riding horses and shooting call-to-arms notes, of course, but watching people doing so.
It was horses, and swords, and chivalry, and my first taste of intrigue. It was the most profound thing my nine-year-old mind had ever experienced. That afternoon, a love for a genre was born. It didn’t become apparent until much later, but eventually it developed into a kind of thirst: a world outside of my everyday experiences, something beyond, something fantastical: that elusive magnificent something else.
Many years after that, I finally rewatched the movie, and was, unsurprisingly, a little embarrassed. But, hey, we all have to start somewhere.
So this is what There & Elsewhere is supposed to be: a place to ponder other times and other lives, a collection of impressions of anything not here and not now. And maybe, if you happen to share my taste, a place where you can explore other stuff I have enjoyed.