Hi, I'm Geoff Cordner - your host here at
The Mad Hatter's Library.
I recall a TV ad featuring a young Boris Becker (almost certainly produced for his long-time racket sponsor, Puma) that was around in the late 1980’s. Becker had been a hero of mine from the time he won his first Wimbledon Men’s Singles title in 1985 as a 17-year old; a victory that made me, as a sports-mad young man then aged in my early 20’s, simply hang my head in shame. “What have I been doing with my life?” I remember thinking.
I loved that ad because in it Boris said just eight words:
“I’m Boris Becker, and this is my gear”.
What I also loved was that Boris was so good at what he did, even though still just a teenager, the mere fact he used a particular brand of tennis equipment was reason enough to convince tens of thousands of people around the world to go out there and do the same.
Now, although I may have idly dreamed about it throughout my youth, and beyond, I never realistically aspired to a career in elite sport – let alone being good enough to warrant receiving a multi-million dollar sponsorship from a major sporting goods company.
But I always, always aspired to write.
Looking back as an older, and hopefully wiser man, I suspect there have been two major reasons for that. The first, quite simply, is the fact that there is stuff rattling around inside my brain that needs to emerge and be expressed in some form or other, failing which there is a distinct possibility my head is going to explode.
The second reason is a little more complicated, and considerably harder to explain. But it revolves around the notion, to which I have subscribed for some time, that the greatest power any individual has is the power to influence others. And whether that is one other person, tens of thousands of people, or millions doesn’t, it seems to me, change the validity of the premise.
So if a short story, a poem, or some other item you come across here in The Mad Hatter’s Library makes you smile, or shed a tear, or if it allows you to lose yourself, or perhaps look at the world in a different way, even if only for a minute or two, then I will have achieved what I set out to do.
And if the experience is positive enough that you keep coming back, hopefully again and again, then so much the better.
I'm Geoff Cordner, and these are my words.