Sunday, 25 April 2010

Could be!

If you are anything of a faithful and systematic reader of this blog you will know that I am sometimes intrigued by the manifestation of random coincidence.

If you are anything of an unsystematically faithful reader of this blog you can click on this coincidence link and view a moth (er month - see anne in comments) long experiment wherein I tried to write about coincidence on a daily basis.

(By the way I’m really glad they have a spell check in word, unsystematically is just too long for my brain to pay attention. It’s funny how it can’t deal with blog though – spell check, not my brain.)

On Wednesday (21 April) I took my leave of Beryl’s house and as everyone had been selecting mementos with strong sentimental value I drifted off to the bookshelves.

Packing the car had been problematic, as Krissie had already filled it with half a lifetime, so it would have to be something small.

I selected a copy of The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain, and wedged it between the biggest sewing machine the world has ever seen and the gear stick.

As I set off for the coast, the port, a boat and a L..O..N..G drive home I tuned into Radio 4.

There I learnt that it was the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain’s death.


Could be.

Just before my father-in–law died he had set off for a cruise in the northern seas. He was taken ill and found himself in a hospital in Iceland and when it became apparent that he wasn’t going to leave, the family decided to join him.

The news and the attempts to fly there concurred with the aviation authorities realisation that liquid bombs were a potential threat and flying anywhere that day was really difficult.

Just after my mother-in-law died and people started to make arrangements to travel to the funeral flying was disrupted by volcanic ash from… Iceland.


Could be.

Now, I’m a superstitious kind of guy.

If I accidently walk under a ladder and a black cat drops on me I’ll throw it over my shoulder into the salt pot.

Or something.

If I see a magpie I’ll spit three times, salute, mark a cross on the sole of my shoe (with the spit) and not look behind me until it dries – and even then I’ll try and find a black cat to throw over my shoulder.

I never whistle in the theatre - but if I do I go outside and turn around three times on the spot - I won’t say good luck to my wife when she sets off on tour -but I do wish her a broken leg - and the words Macbeth would never escape my lips backstage.

You just can’t take chances.

So I was feeling pretty nervous about last week, walking into a graveyard for anything, let alone a funeral, requires careful attentiveness – where you step, what you say and not looking behind.

When my wife suggested that we sleep in her empty parent’s bedroom on funeral-eve I put my foot down.

When my brother-in-law and his wife also declined and choose the study floor instead, I felt vindicated.

That night as we sat together watching Dr Who, in an otherwise silent house two loud crashes were heard from the kitchen.

Co-incidence? Ghost!

Could be.


Anne Hodgson said...

I'm wondering what Twain would make of a "moth long experiment". It sounds doable, as moths aren't all that long, unless of course you're thinking of a moth fluttering someplace it shouldn't be, interminably, and needing to be put out of its misery before it either dies death by frying or the cat discovers it and starts going "knack, knack knack!!" and then, well, knacks it, poor thing. All in all, moth experiments, be they long or short, are strictly coincidental, I'd say, because where is that moth when you're looking for it?
Those two loud crashes in the kitchen: Was Beryl going for a moth, do you think?

Janet Bianchini said...

Talk about coincidence! The Black Pearl is the name of our favourite local restaurant in Abruzzo.

Janet Bianchini said...

Only me again! Just to let you know you have just been featured in a list of blogs worthy of following here @ :)

popps said...

Ok, Ok, a small typo!!!
Thanks though for alerting me as apparently, according to Janet i'm on a list of blogs to watch so i'd better pull my socks up on such things as moths.

popps said...

Janet, the black pearl is also a wine bar type place in Hastings.
Are you back, did the bike ride go as well as planned - i could hardly walk after my drive there and back so god knows how you must feel.

Janet Bianchini said...

The bike ride went brilliantly and time flew past as I was lost in deep thought for most of the way.

Yes, my derriere was mightily sore for a few days after, as one could well imagine, but I am fine now. I just wish I could accompany K back to Abruzzo by motorbike on Tuesday rather than fly back, which seems a bit unexciting now in comparison.

PS You are in very good company with Anne being nominated as well :)

Anne Hodgson said...

Hahaha - It's fun pulling your leg. My socks are always slipping.