During my homesickness period, I was busy hosting a Pity Party for One when I received a call from my mum. She told me that she had recently bumped into a mutual friend who I hadn’t seen for a while with whom she had been discussing our move to Australia.
Our friend explained to mum that she herself had an Auntie living in Australia who had moved there many years ago. It appeared that we may even live in the same State, too.
My mum, who knows nothing about the mysterious ways of the Internet, said she thought I might be contactable on Facebook if our friend wanted to get in touch. Then they went their separate ways.
A few days later, I received a Facebook friend request from this lady, and she sent me a private message repeating what she had discussed with my mum. As we talked, it became clear that not only did we live in the same State as her auntie, we actually lived in the same city.
Our written Internet chat messages flew back and forth, and something emerged which was very strange indeed.
By way of explanation, readers, Brisbane is a very large city if you include its outskirts. As I typed, and Cal replied, it transpired that her auntie lived in the same part of Brisbane as we had settled.
In the same neighbourhood, in fact.
On the same street…in the house next door.
Next door! I burst out laughing at the sheer incredulity of this scenario – here I was, talking to a girl I had known since we were teenagers, about her auntie who lived next door – despite her emigration several decades before! This was crazy, you couldn’t make it up!
Cal went onto tell me that her Auntie Lin and her Australian husband were lovely people, and that she would quickly let them know who their new next door neighbours had turned out to be. When we finished that conversation, I think that both of us were in total disbelief at what we had just discovered.
A day or do later, I received a knock at the door. It reverberated around the empty house, which was still awaiting our shipping container. I looked out of the window to see a tall, slim lady with blonde hair waiting there.
As I opened the door, I came face to face with what was quite obviously my old friend’s auntie. Physically, they were unmistakeably related.
She opened her mouth to speak as her large blue eyes smiled at me. As she did so, she removed any last doubts that I may have had about her identity.
‘Hello love, I’m Lin, Cal’s auntie,’ she said in a warm Yorkshire accent which had been mellowed only slightly by her years in the Australian sun. ‘My husband David and I wondered if you’d like to come round for a cup of tea?’
I accepted gladly, and so began another unexpected friendship forged by fortunate chance.
Lin and Cal are alike in every possible way; as are all the female members of their family. They are all naturally graceful and softly spoken, with wide blue eyes, delicate features and clear skin. They share a gentle, kind nature which is laced with a delicious sense of humour.
Lin and her husband D quickly became valued friends. They looked out for us, extending the hand of friendship at a time when it was very much appreciated.
Given the circumstances of our meeting, one has to question the element of chance in these situations; we have shared some lovely times together. It is hard to resist the notion that something more than happy coincidence has brought our paths together.
We have since provided the mutual support that friends do through difficult times. This leads me to dedicate this chapter of the blog to D, who is very sadly no longer with us. We miss him sorely every day.
I also dedicate it to his wife Lin, who holds the honour of being ‘My Friend Met In The Strangest Circumstances Ever’…perhaps you may agree that some things are just meant to be.
It’s called ‘serendipity.’