It’s a Small World (After All)

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On Wednesday, it was the auspicious day that Husband and I hit twenty years of wedded bliss. In many ways it is an amazing achievement, not least because it seems only the other day I was skipping up the aisle arrayed in true milkmaid style—we are talking the 90s penchant for Diana-like dresses that had a life of their own here, remember. Given the personalities involved, particularly once you add in the drama queens who made grand entrances into the reality show, tentatively termed “Lings on tour,” it is quite extraordinary to realize we’ve made it to twenty years, but I should note that Husband a) makes me laugh more than anyone else I know, b) is still interesting enough to go out to dinner with on a regular basis, and c) my heart still leaps when I see him across a crowded room.

I am wary however of the curse of “Hello,” where married couples parade their immaculate houses and marriages in printed form in front of the inhabitants of hairdressers on a global scale and two weeks later the happy couple is revealed to be independently seeking legal advice on what constitutes an unacceptable interpretation of the marriage vows. Given the obvious link in terms of reader numbers between “Hello” and this blog, I will therefore opt for prudence and draw a rather appropriate veil over the romantic ramblings and move on to the rather bizarre turn the anniversary evening took.

We had booked to go out to dinner and on the spur of the moment decided to catch our local ferry across the harbor. Travelling by ferry on either a sunny day or amongst the lights at night is one of the major treats of Sydney life and I don’t do it often enough. On this particular occasion we were the only two people getting on at our local stop and there were only seven people getting off, so it was hardly a bustling scene.

Husband recognized the first person off the gangplank and gave him a manly wave of the hand. Being by nature a competitive person, I immediately scanned the rest of the passengers to see if I could produce an acquaintance of my own and, to my gobsmacked, open-mouthed amazement, saw one of my closest friends from university strolling off the ferry. He was equally stunned as a) we last saw him in London at least ten years ago, b) he had forgotten we lived in Sydney (or so he claims), in which case it must have been a fairly major shock for him, c) he was only in Sydney for a couple of days on business, and d) he was, of course, a guest at our wedding twenty years ago to the day.

There are two major lessons to be learned from this:

1. Coincidence is a very bizarre thing.


2. Sydney is a very small city, so if you are one of my nearest and dearest, oldest of friends, don’t even dare to think about sneaking in here without ringing in advance and if not booking a bed in “Domestic Delight,” at least setting up an evening where we can discuss the merits of Australian wine, and recall when we not only behaved like teenagers, but actually looked like them too.


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