A puffed and reckless libertine? Um, no.

I am destined, I realise, never to have an illicit extramarital affair. I would be found out in no time. A couple of weeks ago I went with a male friend to a concert. I bumped into my piano tuner. Today, a different male friend took me to lunch in Bury St Edmunds. An acquaintance of his spotted us and came over to say hello; when he was introduced to me it transpired that he knows another member of the family.

It has always amazed me, the coincidental meeting of friends in odd places. My husband always has had a knack of finding old friends by chance. I upstaged him entirely on our honeymoon however; he will never surpass my feat of random synchronicity.

We were driving along a deserted country road on Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles. Rounding a corner, we saw a woman walking alone in the sunshine and we stopped to offer her a lift. She and I stared at each other, too surprised to speak. Not only had I known her all my life, but so had my father.

Her parents were my father’s godparents. When he was a little boy, towards the end of the First World War, he often spent his holidays with them and their two daughters, in their home by the river Thames at Wallingford. He was, at that time, more or less parentless – his father was away in the army and his mother was what Nancy Mitford called a ‘Bolter’ – she had skipped with a Colonel, leaving her home and little son. So Molly and her sister were the nearest he had to siblings.

Since my father died, we had lost touch somewhat and she didn’t know I was married, let alone honeymooning in the Seychelles. Not only at the same time, in the same place but even in the same random road, and we just happened to stop to speak to her.

8 comments on “A puffed and reckless libertine? Um, no.

  1. Dandelion

    That’s a lovely story. But I am worried about the woman who skipped with a colonel (not literally, I presume), leaving her home and little son. I mean, who looked after him? Isn’t it illegal to do that? Why didn’t she take him with her? Or give him to someone? So many questions…

  2. Z

    hello Dandelion, welcome. It is sad isn’t it, to think of that little boy.

    I’ve been thinking of writing a post or two about my parents; time to make a start on it and I’ll answer your questions, as far as I can, then.

  3. schaumi

    i rarely do the ‘next blog’ thing. but i did and here i am from small town usa.

    you should write about your parents. I occasionally write about my mother’s experiences during WWII and at other times during her youth. great way to leave memories for our children….

    btw, years ago while traveling in madrid, spain, my husband and i were looking at a restaurant menu. The other person also looking at a menu turned out to be a former professor of his….. funny these coincidences..

  4. Z

    Hello Schaumi, welcome and thanks.

    I’ve been thinking I’d like to write a bit about my parents and grandparents – taking a while to get there though. Neither my mum nor dad had a happy start in life and I have to get through that bit first…

  5. Z

    I know! Hee hee, my reputation shot to pieces, and I’ve always been so dull and respectable.

    And I do like the thought of a paramour. How romantic.

  6. Gert

    My paternal grandparents’ retirement (from London) home in County Mayo was next door to the holiday home of someone who had taught at my mother’s school in Manchester

    Introduces a new element to Meet the Parents

  7. Z

    hello Gert, welcome
    The amazing thing is that coincidences happen so regularly. If you read about them in a novel it would look far too far-fetched a plot device.


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