You would think that with a UK population of around 64 million and a world population of over seven billion people, it would be hard to find many coincidences where people compartmentalised in one part of your life knew people in another. But this last week has shown me that anything is possible.
Between 1988 and 1991 I used to work with a lady called M. The last time I saw her was 25 years ago when I was pregnant and left work to have Kay. We found one another again recently on Facebook and since she only lives about a 20-minute drive from me, we have met up several times over the last few months for a coffee and a catch-up on the last 25 years. It transpired in conversation that her ex-husband's sister (C) had also been a work colleague of mine in a previous job back in 1973. C had married a Spaniard and moved to Madrid in 1977. After that, with the internet and mobile phones yet to be born, we lost touch.
As C was over in London last week, M invited us all to her house for a lovely supper, where C and I were able to catch up on 40 years' news! Such an amazing coincidence. Over the course of the evening, I also discovered that M's husband went to the same school as me (albeit not at the same time) and also lived a few streets away, when we were younger.
As if that wasn't enough coincidence, it also transpired M's oldest son is a lawyer and works in a tiny Mediterranean community, where my best friend at school (H) has lived for decades, having married a lawyer there. It turns out he knows my school friend and her husband. I haven't seen H since we left school in 1969 (again no internet or mobiles to stay in touch, only snail-mail which eventually fizzled out as we began our careers and moved abroad in different directions). Now M's son has provided me with H's email. There's 46 years' worth of news to catch up on there. All those coincidences from one meeting. It sure is a small world.