I have experienced
a few coincidences during my life time so far, and think the biggest
occurred when I gave a hitchhiker a lift to Ross-on-Wye during
February of 1980. He was a New Zealander and in conversation,
mentioned that he was flying home a month later via Los Angeles.
Anyway, we chatted during the journey along the A40 about life,
the universe etcetera and I told him that I also was off to Los
Angeles at around the same time. On dropping him at his destination,
tongue firmly in cheek I said, 'May see you in LA,' as we parted
nothing more of this once home and went about daily business as
usual. On 28th March however, I was travelling alone and sitting
on board a USA bound British Airways Boeing 747 at London Heathrow
waiting to taxi when a late arrival on the plane plonked himself
into the seat next to mine. I could not believe it - he was my
New Zealand hitchhiker friend! What was really strange was that
he had bought a last minute 'standby' ticket on the day of the
flight. We spent a weekend eating pizza and burgers whilst exploring
Los Angeles together before departing to continue on our separate
paths once again.
which prompted me to write this article however occurred whilst
photographing the 'Goulding' family above, last Saturday. Again
- I don't believe it! Going back even further in time to 1975,
when I got married and left 'home'
for the first time, I bought a one bedroom maisonette in Romford,
Essex, in which I lived for one year prior to moving to Ross-on-Wye.
Being only 21 years old then, all of the neighbours appeared to
look in their early 300s - that is apart from one other couple
who lived a few doors down the street. We used to chat whenever
we met outside the house but nothing more than that.
Goulding family photograph above involved going up in a crane
lift and whilst standing waiting, thinking that perhaps I should
have chosen my brown corduroy trousers to wear, I got chatting
to the one other newspaper photographer, Dave Farrants, who was
going up with me.
of the time when he was a freelance in Essex for The Recorder.
'That's strange - I used to live in Romford back in '75,' I said,
knowing the 'Recorder' well, 'No.47 Wolsely Road, Rush Green.'
visibly stunned. 'I don't believe it!' he exclaimed. 'I lived
at 53 Wolsely Road at that same time - I thought your face was
familiar! I was the one with the purple Hillman Hunter.'
Dave was a
person I didn't really get to know well, but would pass the time
of day with virtually every day at some stage during my brief
period in Rush Green, Essex.
It's a small,
and a rather strange world!