Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Zero degrees of separation

I spent most of the last two days reading a manuscript by a total stranger which incorporates some of his grandfather's diary from World War I, which takes in Cairo, Gallipoli and Ypres. About three quarters of the way through I realised that his grandfather's friend Stratford was my grandfather. I recognised him not just by the surname but also by the location of the bullet wound. 

My English friends think I exaggerate when I say that everyone in New Zealand is connected: two degrees of separation, max. In this case, zero.


Anonymous said...

Ypres that tear from your eye.

helenalex said...

Your English friends have obviously never seen two NZers strangers meet and then find out they have mutual friends. This is deeply embarrassing when it happens in front of foreigners; it makes it feel like we have a population of about 500.

Stephen Stratford said...

Indeed, we do seem Appalachian. An English friend commented on Facebook, "Does this mean that Aunt Daisy was so called because all her listeners really were her nephews and nieces?" So tempting to reply yes.

Aunt Daisy's biography was written by Alexander Fry, who was a colleague of mine at the Listener. Never more than two degrees, is it.