It’s a very small world

12 02 2008

A few weeks ago I wrote about degrees of separation. This next tale is not only about degrees of separation but also coincidences and timing, and how small the world really is.

Let’s step back a few years… Some 30-something years ago I lived downstairs from a guy called A1. Some 20 years ago I shared a house in Perth with an American girl from Minnesota called K. K married A1, though I wasn’t responsible for introducing them to each other. In fact, A1 introduced me to K when she needed somewhere to live and I needed help with the mortgage repayments (back in the heady days of 17% interest rates!). K and A1 have had a couple of kids, still live in Perth, and K and I still get together on occasion for celebrating birthdays etc. though we see each other much less often now that I don’t live in Perth.

So, that sets the scene… Moving on… I have an uncle in the US who lives very close to Newport Beach. I usually spend a few days with him when I go to the US before moving on to wherever I need to be. In fact, I’ll be landing at his place early next month.

Yesterday, K calls me to say “Hi”. In the course of that conversation I find out that K is on her way to the US in March too… and that she’s going to spend time with her work colleague A2 (also from Australia [Tasmania?]) and his family—who live in Newport Beach! Then she tells me that she thinks her step-Mom lives close to there too, which she does.

So, what are the chances? K, A2, and I will all be travelling independently to the US in early March 2008, and all staying with our respective relatives who live within 2 miles of each other! There are some 300 million people in the US, and 30m just in California, plus some 21 million in Australia. But three of us from Australia (Perth, southwest WA, and Tasmania) have connections with three in the US who all live in the same place! How freaky is that?

As it happens, K is arriving 4 days after me and I’ll be almost in San Francisco by then, but it’s pretty freaky nonetheless.

Oh, and as an aside, K has a family vacation house on Lake Champlain in Vermont, where she lives some 6 miles from the only other person I know in Vermont (R)!  The only thing R and K have in common is me. I’m seeing R at the conference I’m attending in Portland, OR…

More Twilight Zone music…

A day by the lake

12 02 2008

On Sunday we drove over to Lake Towerinning to see our friends race their very fast speed boat. Normally, they’d race at Burswood in Perth, but each year the Speed Boat Association comes to Lake Towerinning (about an hour’s drive from us) and races on this big inland lake in the middle of the wheatbelt. We hadn’t seen our friends for a couple of months, so it was an opportunity to have a day out and say hello. Other than getting sunburnt (I was in the shade ALL day!) it was a pleasant—though hot—day.

One of the neat things that happens on the day is the use of these BIG farm tractors to put the boats into the water and pull them out again. The lake’s banks are very muddy and the lake’s quite shallow, so using a standard 4WD vehicle is a problem. And this year a plane turned up to join the action!

Here are some photos:

Tractors and boats

Plane in wheat field

More photos…