It is a small world after all… Anyone in Christian circles knows that the six degrees of separation is rubbish – it’s more like three. (In fact, I have one friend who reckons that between the two of us we know everyone, given that pretty much anywhere I go I meet someone who knows him.)

Lately, I’ve had a run of coincidences that have gone from the pretty random to the utterly ridiculous…

  • A girl I’ve done kids stuff with at church for a couple of years, turns out to have a Dad who does the same job as my parents. Not so unusual – it makes a current total of five of us at church with parents in that particular denominational profession. On top of that, our sisters do the same job too – they’re both teachers, so no massive coincidence there – but in fact they teach in the same school. Random.

Two weeks later…

  • My sister is out with her colleagues and ends up sat next to a woman whose imminent maternity leave is the cause of the celebration. During a conversation about weddings which results in my sister mentioning her maiden name, this woman suddenly exclaims “Oh! You’re Liz’s sister”. Turns out the teacher in question worked with me in my bookshop era – in fact, we began our jobs on the same day. Quite random, though not unbelievable.
Last Thursday…
  • A colleague casually mentions that he met someone who knew me the night before. Turned out her name was Alice, so I began running through friends of that name in an attempt to work out who it was. A comment about the Potteries and a priest for a father quickly made me realise that the girl in question was my Godfather’s daughter – who I’m in semi-regular contact with regarding our mutual driving sagas. The truly weird thing about this encounter is that they’d met on a crowded platform at Green Park station and simply got talking, which is not normal London behaviour! The revelation of his occupation and employer immediately had Alice asking if he’d come across any Clutterbucks – deeply worrying. 
  • I’m just home from a day out in the sun, tinged pink both from its rays and a little embarrassment. Sauntering through Covent Garden after a delightful few hours with friends, I popped into a favourite Café Nero for an iced beverage and the use of their facilities [that’s a delightfully British way of saying I needed the toilet]. As I made my way through the crowd at the counter, realised that one of the arms that had just taken a frappé bore a familiar wristband. I looked up a discovered an equally familiar face. We chatted, discovered we’d come into the café with the exact same purpose and after a few minutes I excused myself. I guess that as we both live in London, this shouldn’t be such a coincidence, but you just don’t generally bump into people like that. [There’s a back-story as to why this was more random than it might seem, but I’ll not go into the details.]
  • The slight embarrassment results not from this encounter, but one 20 minutes later when we both ended up (independently) in Trafalgar Square. I was busy escaping the attentions of a male tourist intent upon interrupting my quality time with my book [“Can I sit here and chat with you?” ,”No. I’m reading and having some quiet time by myself”]; he was waiting for friends. I decided I looked like a stalker – hence the pink cheeks. Paranoid? Me? Very. [It should be noted the use of the word ‘he’ in the previous sentence suggests why this might have been a potentially cringe-worthy encounter.]
None of these coincidences are bad things, just a little weird and leaves me pondering whether this happens to me more than most other people? It certainly feels like it at the moment. 


  1. Yes, it happens to me too.

    Thus far it hasn’t happened to me in relation to you, although I think we do probably have enough of all the required elements for this to be a possibility (mutual friends,more speciifically mutual friends who don’t know each other, matching interests…)

    Most recently I met a girl at a gathering of people all doing the job that I now do (and so does she) She was convinced she knew me – turns out I sold her a pack of playing cards at a conference once!

  2. It’s only a matter of time…I’ve already realised that you know a whole lot of people that I know of through friends that you don’t know! [If any of that makes any sense at all!!]

    Christian world is super, super small!

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