Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Small Coincidences

Were it not for carrying a notebook with me most of the time, I'd not have been able to tell you these things, not that they are of significance. It was just that my brain was full of odd bits of information that seemed to come together in different places. 

For one, we passed a sign when driving in Wales that said 'Brynmawr' and I asked Bill what the name meant. He told me it meant 'Big Pit'; he must have been thinking of the Big Pit Coal Museum near by. Turns out it means 'Bill Hill'. It's a place name I associate with Katherine Hepburn, who graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.  I took the book, H.D. Thoreau: A Writers Journal, with me on this trip and when I opened it up found that he had written it in Bryn Mawr, PA.  I'm still working on that book, it having traveled with us to Nice when we cat-sat there again in August. I have a particular reason for wanting to read it, aside from just the mental discipline required. 

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire

Another book I took on that trip was Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier, which was excellent by the way. The movie was great, but the book is even better. We visited the Matisse museum in Nice and in the gift shop I discovered happily that Chevalier has written any number of books, though I didn't buy any written in French. 

Dyrham Park

Anyhow, we traipsed around four grand estates on the Wales trip in May and in at least two the commentary called our attention to large pieces of Delft pottery which were all the rage in the 17th and 18th centuries. I gather they were a great way of conspicuously demonstrating that one could not only afford to import exotic pottery, but also to import exotic tulips to put in the expensive pottery. Girl with a Pearl Earring is set in Delft in The Netherlands. 

Dyrham Park

Dyrham Park

None of this is exactly earth-shattering, I know. It's just that it made me feel as though the world was a small place not just because of the confluence of people but of ideas. In the Western world, anyhow. Have you ever had this sort of funny little coincidence that grabbed your attention?

Chatsworth, Derbyshire


Beryl said...

How cool that you tour grand estates on your travels with your husband. As to that question of whether we have ever had that sort of funny little coincidence that grabbed our attention - I have to say it has, but I don't usually have the forethought to write them down. And then I forget most of them.

sanda said...

You had an interesting trail of coincidences and yes I've had the same happen! Not sure what it means but certainly gives one pause for thought.

Shelley said...

Beryl - We've always loved history and architecture and of course the two come together when you join the National Trust!

Sanda - Yes one does normally forget this sort of thing. I doubt it means anything other than I write down silly stuff to put in this blog!