This morning someone posted on my facebook that her sister, who is currently attending the AIDS convention in Amsterdam, had narrowly missed being part of the terrible tragedy of doomed flight MH17 by virtue of having switched flights. Just now someone else posted that his partner had also been reprieved after he had persuaded her to switch airlines.
It seems such a mighty coincidence that the loved ones of two people that I know have had such a close brush with death. It made me wonder how many times all of us are we are all having these near-misses and yet are totally oblivious to it because it is only in exceptional circumstances that you given the concrete evidence of how close you have come. It probably happens more often than we would care to imagine.
Just as the world was reeling over this terrible event I was being whisked away by a friend in her magical mystery van on an unexpected trip to Margate. Part of me felt that I shouldn’t go – I had too many chores to do at home; too many excuses not to take time out from work. But the prospect of a day at the beach on what was set to be the hottest day of the year was too pervasive an argument not to stay at home. I’m so glad that I over-ruled my head because I ended up having the most incredible day that then morphed into a weekend, having got caught up in a spectacular storm there that evening. I made acquaintances with so many people – from a lovely transvestite to friendly ‘retro Rosie,’ to some local folks at a car boot sale; I witnessed the most incredible storm I’ve ever seen in my life and chatted until the early hours with some warm and entertaining people who unexpectedly had three guests staying over and yet if I’d booked myself into Margate’s finest hotel I wouldn’t have been more comfortable. Oh, and I also got some photographs to be proud of.
I headed back this morning with barely any possessions – not even a toothbrush – but instead a head-load of memories of the finest kind. Thanks Mair for reminding me that life can be a mini adventure every day, if you open your heart and mind to the possibilities.
In memory of those lost in Flight MH17. I hope that they passed away with their heads and hearts full of happy memories and with few regrets.