I have written before about my friendship with blogging friends around the world and in particular, Chris at Bridges Burning with whom I have a Skype visit each Friday. We talk about anything and everything and yesterday we talked about her latest post. If you read it you will see that while doing her research into Orphan Annie, she mentioned that this ancestor had been born in Hackney in the East End of London. Well, this is where I was born and brought up. She knew the address of the children’s home into which Annie had been placed and I offered the help of my sister who lives in the UK and who visits Hackney regularly to meet her family members who still live there.
Marianne, my sister was happy to help and photos and messages were exchanged so another friendship was formed.
Yesterday, when talking about serendipity, as surely this was such a case, we talked about other such happenings. I told her about a woman I met recently who had arrived from Montreal and had lived in the same suburb as we had many years earlier. I told about the woman I spoke to on a bus going to Oxford some years ago. She had a brother living in New Zealand. Did I know Wellington? Well, yes I live there. Did I know Scots College? Well, yes my son and grandsons went there. Her brother was the Headmaster of Scots. And there have been many more such experiences.
But the strangest of all was some 30 years ago. I had a friend with whom I worked. One day she said she had a school friend, now living in Majorca, coming to visit. Her friend was Scottish and Jean, my friend, thought we should meet. On the day, with husband out at sport, the two women duly arrived for afternoon tea. During the course of conversation, I was asked by Jean’s friend where my husband came from in Scotland. I replied Dunoon to which her reply was she had lived in a small village beside Dunoon. “Well, I said, it was really Kirn but it was such a small place that I never expect anyone to know of it” Her response was that in fact, she came from Kirn. Imagine my surprise then when I found out she was the daughter of the local dentist whose house my Father-in-Law had purchased when he remarried.
So imagine. Two young girls meet at school in Colchester, England. Then each goes their own way while keeping in touch. One went to Majorca with her husband, the other to Wellington New Zealand with hers, Some 30 years later, two other women meet in Wellington and become friends. The second woman is married to a Scotsman who comes from a small village on Scotland’s West Coast. Years later the three women meet and surprise, surprise the woman from Majorca was born and bred in the same small village as the Scotsman and what’s more, lived in the house now being lived in by the Scotsman’s father. Small world indeed.
“Friendship … is born at the moment when
one man says to another
“What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
― C.S. Lewis,