I was idly farting around on Facebook when I got a message to the effect of,
"Are you the brother of him and the sister of her and do you come from a long line of fishermen who walk sideways every Wednesday?"
You know the type of thing. It turns out that the lady in question was a friend of my sister when I was an infant and we lived out on the Rosslare road - a country byway in the 1960s. Between them this lady and my older sister (they're both now in their mid-sixties) practically reared me as my mother worked as a housekeeper and my father was a springfitter so they were both out all day.
This contact is a serendipitous and ethereal thing - it's more than just somebody I haven't heard from in a while. This is a connection with my early childhood in what was then the countryside - a time when I had yet to learn the concepts of fear, hatred or death. I have vague memories of this time - sitting watching my father cutting the hedge...watching the workmen laying a tarmac driveway to the Big House (we lived in the gate lodge)...my brother coming home from school on his red bicycle...the whole suffused with the lazy sunshine of romantically recollected innocence.
Having this contact has opened up a whole universe of memories - all of them before I was three. We moved into town in 1964; I still live in the same house but the little gate lodge in the sunshine has long gone - a victim of "progress" and the widening of the road.
This internet **************** is all quite huge fun actually.