Synchronicity, Serendipity or Coincidence.

 

 

Synchron

 

Definition – the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear
significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

I recently read a post from my dear friend/sister of choice Chris at Bridges Burning.  She wrote about serendipity and how three people, she in Ontario, my sister in the UK and me in New Zealand,  can connect over a comment on Skype.  The comment and the thoughts that preceded and followed it bounced around the world.  It went from Kitchener, Ontario to Wellington, New Zealand and then on to Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The definition of Serendipity is – the occurrence and development of events by
chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Serendipity and synchronicity are quite different words, often confused and should be used differently.  For instance, it would not have been correct for Chris to use synchronicity in her telling but it is correct when we both write about the same thing in a blog post.  Or when I send an email saying we should Skype only to find that she has sent the exact email to me.

How often we find this synchronicity.   I remember years ago when training to be a Life Coach.  I had read one day about Sedona in Arizona, the red rocks and the general feeling of spiritual well-being, the artists and healers who flock there, and so determined that I should go there in the not too distant future.  The course was conducted on a phone link of 2 hours each Monday evening.  Soon after I logged in I heard one of the other participants talking about a visit he had made to Sedona the previous year and how he was planning on returning the next year for the Sedona Film Festival.

My mind/imagination was captured by this place and then the next morning, in an email from my sister in Los Angeles, she said she thought the next time I visited we should go to Sedona as she had heard such great things about it.

Well didn’t that exactly meet the definition –  significantly related but have no discernible causal connection?

Recently, because it was the anniversary of the death of The Architect, I was thinking about him and about the firm he had established many years ago.  Later that day I was at the Hospice and learned that it is his old firm that will be doing the architectural work for the new hospice building. Serendipity at work again.

I say that there is no such thing as coincidence, but do I really believe that?  There is definitely synchronicity, serendipity and probably there is room for coincidence too.

The definition of Coincidence is – a striking occurrence of two or more events
at one time 
apparently by mere chance:

Several years ago I was in London for the weekend.  The elderly woman for whom I was playing companion went off to a wedding which left me free.  It just so happened that friends were visiting London from NZ and we decided to meet up.  The first evening we went around the corner from the apartment looking for some place to have a drink and decide where to eat.  Imagine my surprise when, on turning the corner I saw three friends, a couple from Auckland, NZ and one from Sydney, Australia.  I hadn’t seen any of these people for several years, so their being in London at just that particular weekend was certainly a coincidence.

And for you – stop for a moment and ask yourself, what coincidences have been happening in my life recently that I am not paying attention to? Where do I need to be seeing the truth? What is the Universe trying to tell me?

And consider this –

If there were no such thing as coincidence,
there would be no such word
Heron Carvic (born Geoffrey Rupert William Harris)
English actor writer. 
  1913 –  1980 

 

By the way – if you are an Agatha Christie fan, hop over to my other site to read a review on A Talent for Murder.

 

 

 

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Who’s in Charge Here…..

I read this today and thought it’s really something all we Mums should read.  We are only trying to help our kids, but..

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

I love my Mom.  I know she has made mistakes about things, but I also know she has always had the best of intentions.  That took me about 50 years to figure out.  But….my Mom can also drive me crazy.  Because even though she has known me my entire life, she still does not understand me.  Or chooses not to understand me- I’m really not sure which……

She pet sat for us last month when we were on vacation.  She loves to go to the theater, we live in the city.  We needed someone to take care of the girls.  This was a win/win situation. And I really do appreciate the help.  Truly.

But…….

My Mom’s hobby is shopping.  Seriously.  Shopping.  She DVR’s shows on the shopping channels.  Mom only uses the internet is to look for things to buy.  The only reason she wishes she didn’t sell her big…

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The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Looking for inspiration, I came across this post from way back in 2011 shortly after I started on my blogging journey.
I reread the book and as usual, got more from it on second reading. It’s funny how often that happens.
I recognised that yes, in the years since I first read the book, I have been guilty at times of acquiring things; recently I have been disposing of many. But I have also been working on
* Nourishing relationships
* Cultivating self-discipline
* Developing joyful thoughts and very importantly
* Valuing time.

When we are young we think we have all the time in the world to visit, to read, to listen, to achieve but as we grow older we realise that time is a finite commodity and none of us know how much of it we have left.  So I am trying to enjoy the time I do have left by reading, learning and listening.

Here endeth today’s lesson. And if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read the book.

I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

“She told me the best time to plant
a tree was 40 years ago.

The second best time is today.
Don’t waste even one minute of your day”
Robin Sharma from
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.

You may know that I have been reading books and acquiring knowledge on Personal Development for many years (since I was a young wife and mother with time on my hands).  I run courses on the subject and I have a library of books from many of the greats in the field including Zig Ziglar, Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Louise Hay, Debbie Ford, Bob Procter and Deepak Chopra.  Amongst the books I have read time and again, is this one by Robin Sharma.  

Book

The book tells the story of a lawyer, Julian Mantle, who is forced to confront his life choices after an almost fatal heart attack while appearing at a trial. …

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The Glorious 12th

Here in New Zealand, it is already August 12th  the official start of Britain’s 121-day-long grouse shooting season and always known as The Glorious 12th.

Red_Grouse_(May_2008)

According to The Telegraph “The sport, which always begins on August 12th each year, has been an integral part of the countryside calendar for decades, although having once been an aristocratic hobby, it’s increasingly at the centre of rows over animal cruelty and class.”

If you are interested you can read more about this bird here.

Many years ago as a new bride, I was called by my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) to go to Euston Station in London to pick up a brace of grouse that he had shot the day before.  So with father, we took off to do just that.

But I asked, what to do with the birds and was told by my DYS that they should be kept in a dark cupboard and hung up by their feet until the feet fell off, at which time they would be ready for plucking etc.

And would he be home by that time, I asked.  Oh yes, don’t worry about that was his reply.

So following instructions, we hung the birds in the cupboard under the stairs until DYS came home and dealt with them.  I can’t say that I enjoyed the resultant meal.  The bird was far too gamey for me, but this is yet another memory to put into my memory chest.

Steamer Trunk

“Circumstances or people
can take away yourmaterial possessions,
they can take away your money and
they can take away your health.
But no one can ever take away your
precious memories.
So, don’t forget to make time and take the
opportunities to make memories every day.”
Judith Baxter  1938 –
Blogger, Mother, Grandmother, Sister and friend.

Note –  Photo of Red Grouse courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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It’s a Small World Indeed.

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, The Four Loves

 

 

An Exciting Find

“Make it a rule of life never to regret
and never to look back.
Regret is an appalling waste of energy;
you can’t build on it;
it’s only good for wallowing in.” 
― Katherine Mansfield, NZ short story writer
1888-1923.

Excitement in the Wellington City Libraries – Katherine Mansfield’s first published story discovered at our library.  Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in the archives by a local author researching the famous writer.

The short story, His Little Friend by the 11-year-old Kathleen M Beauchamp (her given name) was published on the children’s graphic page of the New Zealand Graphic on 13 October 1900.  Up until now, it was believed that her first formally published work wasn’t printed until 1907, so this has got both local and international experts excited.

On a personal note, Katherine Mansfield is close to my heart.  My late love, the Architect, was on the Board of the Wellington Sculpture Trust.  One of the sculptures they commissioned was Woman of Words by Virginia King.   It was during an interview with the Board members that I reconnected with my late love.

Woman-of-Words_11-big

The sculpture stands in Midland Park along the main commercial thoroughfare in Wellington City.

We are told by the Trust “Women of Words celebrates the life and work of Katherine Mansfield. The stainless steel figurative work is entirely laser cut with quotations from Mansfield’s journals and short stories.  During the day the sculpture reflects the colour, movement and ambience of the surrounding area.
At night, illuminated from within, the work becomes a lantern of silhouetted words.”

The hair on the sculpture is made up of Mansfield’s shopping list.  Each of the Board members received a “hair”.  I have Tomatoes that was the Architect’s “hair”.

 

fullsizeoutput_2de

And with those memories now brought up again I think how lucky I am to have them.

 

Note:  I have changed the date of the publishing of His Little Friend.
Originally I had mistakenly put 1990 – it should be 1900.
Mansfield. died in 1923

The End of His Journey

Having slept little during the night, Jane left the campsite hitching a lift back to Cape Town with the crew that had produced their dinner the night before.  She was very concerned at what Eric Duncan had said and really wanted to know what evidence the detective had that made him consider Duncan a murderer.  She boarded the first available flight back to Heathrow.  On arrival, she made an appointment to meet with the detective the next morning.

After offering coffee, tea or whatever Tom Cranston the detective asked: “Well now Ms Anderson, what brings you here today?”  “Actually it’s Mrs Anderson” replied Jane.  She then proceeded to tell him of her relationship with Eric Duncan and about the concerns she had regarding his involvement in his wife’s murder.

“He told me you think him guilty and had vowed to prove it” she continued.

“Yes, that’s true” he detective responded.  “But really I’m no further forward than I was at the time of the murder investigation.”

“He told me you followed him to and around Cape Town the last time he was there.”

“Yes, that’s true also.  I wanted to upset his equilibrium” came the reply.

“And is that why you were at Heathrow again a few days ago?” she asked

“Yes, Mrs Anderson, but you still haven’t told me why you are here.  Did Duncan say anything specific about the murder?”

“Well,” she said “we had both had rather a lot to drink and he wasn’t as careful in what he said as he usually is.  He talked about his wife having had her throat cut from behind, with a kitchen knife.  How would he know where the murderer was standing?

He also said there was little blood splatter which he said is usual when a throat is cut deeply and from behind.  How would he know that?”

“I can only tell you that I am convinced he did murder his wife and to instil in you the need to be very careful around this man.  By the way. Where is Duncan now?” said the detective.

“Somewhere on the way to Victoria Falls, I imagine.  Unless he too, has left the safari; but I don’t suppose he has.

Standing, the detective said “Thank you for coming in today” and handing her a card said, “If you think of anything else please call me”.  Then noting her details, he showed her off the premises.

As soon as she left he went to his computer and searched blood splatter and throat slashing on the web.  Then he went in to see his superior.

At the time of the murder, they had no reason to search Duncan’s home and so hadn’t searched his laptop or the computer he used at the office.  He wanted the Inspector to authorise two search warrants one for Duncan’s home and the other specifically and only for his computer at the solicitors’ office.  The web searches, if indeed Duncan had searched for these particular items, had been made many months ago and probably would have been deleted by now.  But the whiz-kids in their IT department would be able to find anything that had been there.

He then called Jane to find out when Duncan was due back.  It was always better to present the search warrant to the property owner rather than risk a defence team claiming illegal search.  The first warrant, for Duncan’s house, was not specific to the computer but the second one was.  Because they would be dealing with a firm of solicitors, Cranston knew it was particularly important that the search be carried out properly and in accordance with the law.  The warrant would specify the computer and give the reason for the search and the requirement to remove the computer from the premises.  If the solicitors baulked at removing the computer, the police IT team could come to their office to carry out the search.

The Magistrate signed the warrants and Cranston felt elated.  He thought after so many months of inactivity on the case they now had a possible clue.  He was impatient to start but had to wait several days for Duncan’s return.

On that day he waited at the property and as Duncan emerged from the car he presented the search warrant.  Duncan, of course, was livid.  He insisted that nobody entered his house until he had called his solicitor so taking the search warrant from the detective, he made the phone call.  His solicitor assured him that the warrant appeared to be in order and that Duncan should allow the police entry to his house.  So begrudgingly, Duncan did so.

They found little of interest in the house except one officer noticed a clear plastic raincoat hung alongside other outdoor coats.  But it looked out of place and also he thought that something had been wiped off the coat.  Maybe it was just mud but they took it anyway. They left giving Duncan a receipt for the computer and the raincoat.

The next stop was the solicitors’ office.  When they arrived Duncan had already been in touch with the practice manager so they were expected.  Cranston told the manager why they needed to search Duncan’s computer.  The manager told him that he was quite sure there was nothing to be found on the computer but reluctantly agreed that a member of their team could search the computer.  Taking the computer and promising it would be returned as soon as possible they left.

It didn’t take long for the IT team to locate where Duncan had searched the web for both blood splatter and throat slicing.  Duncan foolishly had not cleared these searches from his laptop and in a short time the police had found them.  The raincoat, though it looked clean, showed signs of blood splatter when tested with luminal.  They did not find anything on the solicitors’ computer and so that was returned the next day.

With this information, Cranston thought he had enough to arrest Duncan and charge him with his wife’s murder.  Before doing so, he called Jane Anderson and told her what had happened following her visit.  He thanked her but advised that she would most probably be called as a witness at the trial to attest to what Duncan had said.  Could she come to the station to make a statement just as soon as convenient?  She readily agreed and told Cranston that she had a call from Duncan following the visit of the police to ask her to meet for lunch.  She had refused but said he didn’t sound his usual self.  She thought he was worried at what the police might find.

So Duncan was arrested, Jane breathed easier and Cranston set to work to prove the case.

 

And the last words in this tale must go to Terry Hayes, an English-born Australian screenwriter, producer and author:

“Nobody’s ever been arrested for a murder;
they have only ever been arrested for not planning it properly.” 
Terry Hayes, 1951 –

 

Faraway Places;  It BeginsThe Fickle Finger of Fate; Murderer vs Detective;

What Happens Next? ; Question Time

 

 

 

 

Question Time

When their flight was called he looked for the detective but didn’t see him anywhere.  If he had just been at the airport to upset him, then he had succeeded.  Because he hadn’t seen or heard from the detective for more than a year he had foolishly thought that he had given up and moved on.  Now he knew better.  How would he ever get this man off his back?

Sitting on the plane he mused over his problems, completely ignoring his companion who knew that the man he saw had upset him more than he let on and so she decided that she would find out just what was the problem. She would wait and choose her time.  Obviously, if they were going to be together for three weeks he couldn’t continue to ignore her.  She wanted to know what the problem was.

After the long flight, they arrived early in the morning in Cape Town.   He checked the arrivals, immigration and baggage carousel but there was no sign of Cranston, the detective.  Hopefully, they had left him behind at Heathrow.

But Jane was upset at his actions on the trip and the fact that she had been almost completely ignored for more than 12 hours.  She wasn’t used to being ignored and being a woman with her own means, she considered leaving him to go on the safari alone while she took off to one of the island resorts to relax in the sunshine.  She had made no commitment to this man and she was pretty angry at his treatment.

Having convinced himself that the detective had stayed behind, he brightened up a little and turned his attention to his companion.  Because he was so self-absorbed he couldn’t understand why she was upset and spent the next few hours convincing her not to leave.  They had both been to Cape Town before and had seen the sights so to placate her, he agreed to spend the rest of the day shopping.

They started at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront where could be found international and designer shops.  This was a new experience for him.  His wife hadn’t been interested in shopping, nor had she had the money to indulge.  He found following his companion, Jane into these fabulous stores was a great way to take his mind off his problems, and he quite liked carrying the bags with the fancy labels.  He thought how surprised his friends and colleagues would be if they could see him,

He had heard from his Travel Agent that a The Roundhouse a UNESCO Heritage Site was a place to visit and a great place to dine.  So they made their way there to rest after the shopping spree and to enjoy a late lunch,

By the time they arrived back at their hotel she appeared suitably appeased and she decided to let the questions wait for another day.  After an early dinner following what had been a long day, for the first time they retired to a shared room and bed.

The safari began early the next morning and as the days passed they began to relax in each other’s company. He wondered whether he had found a woman with whom to share the rest of his life.  They had many of the same interests, they both loved to travel to exotic places and as she had her own money, neither would be financially dependent on the other.

One night after another long day followed by dinner around a campfire, he decided to ask her if she thought they could be together permanently.  They had had rather more than usual to drink and after he asked the question she replied: “I think so, but you have to tell me why that man at the airport upset you so.”

Again, he responded that he was somebody that he knew in another time and place but this didn’t satisfy her.  So they went to bed with no decision on a shared future.  Later in the night, he awoke to find her sitting looking at him.  He decided to tell her about the detective and how the detective was sure that Duncan had murdered his wife.  Some of the comments led her to wonder whether the detective was in fact, correct.  This totally shocked her and long after he went back to sleep she sat thinking about what to do.

The next morning when he awoke she was gone.

Related posts :

Faraway Places;  It BeginsThe Fickle Finger of Fate; Murderer vs Detective;

What Happens Next?

Paris Can Wait

On a wet weekday afternoon (last Thursday) with the friend in whose house I am staying to dog sit, I went to the movies.

I had read about this movie but it was a disappointment,  Diane Lane is one of those actors with whom I feel a closeness.  She seems to be a woman just like the rest of us and I always enjoy her films.  Lane plays Anne a woman who seems mostly ignored by her husband. Played by Alec Baldwin.  He is another favourite although in this movie he is just passing through.  He appears for a few minutes at the beginning and again at the end.  He is a movie mogul and spends all the time we see him in he movie, on the phone.

Arnaud Viard a French actor of whom I know nothing plays Jacques a a suave, French business partner of Anne’s husband.  

The husband has an appointment in Budapest but Anne has a problem with her ears and doesn’t want to fly  and so when Jacques offers to drive her to Paris  where they will meet up in a few days, they all agree that this is a good answer to the problem.

And this is where for me, the disappointment started.  In an old, unreliable car, Anne is driven through the countryside but we see very little of it.  Much time is spent on food and though we see the food we are given little information as to what they are eating. Perhaps this might have saved the movie.

Jacques, of course (well he is a Frenchman) tries to seduce Anne but she manages to fight off his advances until the end when she is saved by raucous horns being blown in the street below.

For me, it was a nothing film and if I had had anything else to do on that afternoon I would have considered it a waste of time.  But what else is one to do on a rainy Thursday.

 

 

 

What Happens Next?

Duncan’s one day in Cape Town was completely ruined by the detective.  Everywhere he went he saw, or thought he saw the man watching him.  It was clear to him that he had been followed to Cape Town and was now being followed around.

He was sure he saw him when the driver stopped at Table Mountain and all during that walk he looked for him.  He was sure he saw him when they stopped for lunch at Constanta Winery and by the time they reached the Wildlife Reserve at the Cape of Good Hope, he only wanted the day to end.

Arriving back at the hotel at the end of the tour, he had an early, solitary dinner and went to his room to try and read his new novel.

The next morning, after a troubled night, when the safari guide picked him up, he was pleased there was no sign of the detective.  Hopefully, he had returned to Sussex.

The Safari was all he had hoped for and more.  After a couple of days of enchantment with the animals, he managed mostly, to forget about the intruder. The days flew by and as he used the new camera he began to take pride in the photographs he was taking.  He had so many to show his friends when he returned home.

At the end of the 14 days trip, he made his way back to Cape Town to overnight before his flight back home.  And once again, the thought that the detective might be waiting for him when he got to the hotel played on his mind.  But there was no sign of him and he began to think that perhaps the detective had given up.

At dinner in his hotel, he introduced himself to a woman who was obviously alone and suggested she join him for a meal.  This was wholly unlike him and he marvelled at his nerve in so doing.  He learned that this woman was recently widowed, and she lived in the UK not far from where he lived.  Having enjoyed a very pleasant evening together, they exchanged phone numbers and departed to their separate rooms.  He didn’t know whether he wanted to see her again although he had enjoyed her company.  But he would wait and see what if anything transpired from this encounter.

The next day he returned to his normal life in Sussex and after a while, he convinced himself that he had indeed, pulled off the perfect murder.

A few months after his return he contacted the woman he had met in Cape Town and there begun a relationship of dinners, theatre outings and such that both seemed very happy with.  No mention of making this a permanent relationship was brought up by either party.

Then, about a year after the Safari and having had no visits from the Police, he began to think of other places he could visit.  Africa had seduced him and he thought he would go back and visit the Victoria Falls.  So a trip to the travel agents had him booked into a tour from Cape Town to the Victoria Falls.  He now considered himself a seasoned traveller and looked forward to the trip.

Having made the decision and the booking he thought how much nicer it would be to have a companion on this trip.  A call to his lady friend confirmed that she would like to accompany him to Africa and so arrangements were made for two people to make the trip instead of one.

The day of departure arrived and again, he had the driver pick him up and on the way to the airport stop to pick up his friend.  They arrived early because this time he knew they could relax in the lounge enjoying a drink and a snack while waiting for their flight to be called.

But as they left the check in counter he saw that detective again.  How had he known he was leaving for Africa on that particular day?  The detective waved a hand at him and then turned away.  He really did need a drink after that brief encounter.

Related Posts
Faraway Places;  It Begins; The Fickle Finger of Fate; Murderer vs Detective