Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A note on serendipity

So much more these days I'm having brilliant things happen apparently out of sheer good luck.

I added an old colleague, Peter Gander, on Facebook and said in my welcome message that I'd been to his part of the world recently, Whitstable. Lovely place by the sea: me and Slawek enjoyed a lovely pint of Shepherd Neame in the blustery sea air. A short conversation later, he sends his hand-illustrated postcards about the place to me in the post:

My friend Ricky mentioned he was thinking of going to Brighton in the next few days. As it happens I'd just finished my notice at work, so I was free. I said that sounds good - and before you know it we're on the train for a couple of nights there. Brilliant!

I use serendipity in preference to synchronicity, though there appears to be a wide-ranging confusion about any distinction. If only because the latter is used in peculiar ways to imply something supernatural, I prefer the former with its origin in literature: 'The Three Princes of Serendip' whose heroes "were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of".