diceI’m not a great fan of coincidences, primarily because those that matter (and ultimately affect people lives and futures) are generally anything but coincidences when they are evaluated or investigated, and are more likely to have been carefully engineered by whoever happens to benefit.

Over the past few days, having come across no real coincidences for ages, a bunch arrived all at once, in the same way as buses do – when you only need one.

First up was the event which followed the day after I had reflected on the fact that my grandmother had almost managed to avoid the camera during most of her life, and that I had almost no pictures of her, and probably could think of more pics of her mother in the collection, than of her. The next day I was ‘re-organising’ some boxes which had been sitting around the fireplace for some years, and which had a couple of old, tin OXO boxes sitting under them, just stuck under them to level the boxes and stop them sliding off the built up dge of the hearth. As far as I was aware, the boxes were empty, but being pre-war survivors were also not going to be disposed of. Before deciding where to put them I decided to open them, in case there was something icky inside, which would be better cleaned out, and also to check they weren’t rusting away from the inside. Surprise! Both OXO boxes were full of old family photographs I had never seen, or been shown, before. Although there’s no-one left alive to tell me who the people in the pics are, I know enough of them to place them, and by implication who they are beside, and this is helped by some of them having identification written on the pack of some of the earliest. As well as the grandmother image library getting a boost, many other did too, with pics of people I only knew as adults being pictured when much younger. There’s also one excellent pic of my grandfather’s tobacconist and newsagent, albeit the interior, as there don’t seem to be any external pics. Unfortunate, as the whole building it contained (which included his home as well as the shop) was demolished many years ago, and is now the local police headquarters for the region.

Second was the unearthing of a number of architectural drawing, and Ordnance Survey maps which provided locality sketches for the addresses the plans applied to. As I worked through these I was amazed to see that one set in particular was for a house in (better not get too precise), and when I checked it was not only in the street I thought it was, but was the neighbouring to a crook that I had been unfortunate to work both for and with. While things had been fine for years, and the two of us had shared some considerable sums of money without problems over the years, the last such deal revealed that he was little more than cheating scum. On this occasion, ratbag came for a hand in clearing some debts – I should explain that this was the usual, and arose because he had to lay out so much capital before big jobs got underway, with the job in the bag, there wasn’t much chance of things going astray, as the clients were well-known names. On the last occasion, we did the business as usual, I delivered the finds, the work got underway, and… the repayment never appeared. Eventually, a cheque was presented, but rejected by the bank (I think it’s still bouncing after all the years that have passed), and when I tried to get the money back in the usual way, discovered that although we had done the business as individuals, he had placed the loan inside his business records, so a little while later, when ‘The Afterbirth’ declared himself bankrupt, and had previously transferred all his business interests to his wife’s name, Muggins was left without a legal leg to stand on, and of course, the cost of having tried to get his cash back was added to the loss. Positive outcome? The amount was a fraction of similar earlier deals that had gone fine – and was why he did this one. Oh, if anyone’s wondering, Muggins doesn’t do those deals any longer. Well, not without strangling the borrower in legal red tape first.

Third was an article I found relating to the dumping of nuclear waste by the UK back in the 1970s. I’d written about this as part of a series regarding the mad hysteria that seems to consume some people when words like nuclear, radiation, and waste get written too close together, and is the responsibility of the stupid, loony side of the environmentalists and greenies, which we’d all be better off if they were dumped at sea, rather than the waste, which is largely harmless. Anyway, having written the article without the benefit of the info in the newspaper article, I see that the particular piece of paper has survived as a ‘bench protector’ in my garage since January 2000, and been used to mop up oil and paint on numerous occasions, and survived until the other day when I was almost about to throw it away, then I spotted the N word (nuclear) on it, and rescued it for the archives.

Fourth. I wrote a note about street lighting being turned off in the Highlands to save energy and reduce pollution – or rather NOT being turned off, as the local council believed it was doing enough by buying ‘green’ power to run its street lighting. One day, folk will get wise to the fact that not using power at all uses a lot less power than using it, regardless of its ‘colour’ credentials. However, things were decidedly odd that same night, as I discovered that both my, and my neighbours’ houses, were bathed in cheery pools of darkness that same night, while the rest of the street was still fully lit. The sound of a lorry at my door has provided the answer, as it seems that my local council has decided to renew some of the wiring for the street lighting, and had just chopped out all the cables running between the poles near our houses. They’re fitting the new stuff at the moment, so we should be nice, cheery and lit up again by tonight.

I know there was another couple of ‘coincidences’ that caught my eye as these all happened within a few days of each other, but they’ve slipped what passed for my memory nowadays, so three at once will have to do – as the fourth coicnidence.


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