It's Halloween and so I should dig deep and share a ghost story should I not?
Well I have not ghost story to share but I do have an odd little tale of coincidence
I love a story of coincidence.
Around 26 years ago I found myself on a specialist six month work course at the Spinal Injury Unit in Southport. It was expected that for part of that course, I was to organise an elective placement somewhere else and after weeks of organising I was lucky enough to wangle work experience in the US, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to be precise. Much of my experience centred upon the spinal injury rehabilitation hospital in Harmarville.
Like many rehab facilities, Harmarville was located out in the sticks, so to get to and from my lodgings which were back in the City, I was provided with a volunteer driver, who happened to be a very elderly black guy called Norm. Norm insisted that I sit in the back of his large black car, and so I( and many others) was reminded of the movie Driving Miss Daisy when we turned up at any event. The film had only just opened in cinemas that summer.
Anyhow I digress.
Fast forward a decade or so to rural Lincolnshire, to an antiques emporium at a former RAF station to be precise. In a dusty, junk filled room, I spied an old map with art deco writing in a battered frame and on a whim bought it. It looked American, in period with the look of our former house , and it filled a spot in the hall.
The map travelled with us to Trelawnyd and until recently it has graced the wall on the upstairs landing, more or less unseen by all.
You may recall that recently I painted the living room, hallway and landing, and after this, I rearranged the paintings in the cottage and moved the map to it's present position by the front door.
There , I looked at it again with fresh eyes.
The map, I noticed , had small illustrations on it. A golfer in plus fours, a hunting hound, a whole series of huntsmen and women in full livery, and written in the right hand margin in faint deco script was the name Harmarville.
I looked closer, and spied a road called Fox Chapel Road and I suddenly recognised where the map was of. Of all of the places in the world that a 1930s map could have been from, I had bought an old map of the very place I had worked two decades before!
The map was of one very small far suburb of the city of Pittsburgh. A suburb where the Harmarville Rehab unit was to be built some fifty years later.