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Puntos de vista - a personal Spain blog

Musings about Spain and Spanish life by Paul Whitelock, hispanophile of 40 years and now resident of Ronda in Andalucía .

Serendipity VI – DIY in Hastings, Oboes in Bow and Camelot
Monday, February 14, 2022 @ 1:36 PM

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, Serendipity is the fact of finding interesting or valuable things by chance. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary goes for the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.


“Hi, Dad ….. Would you possibly be able to come over to help us get some house stuff sorted ahead of our move in?”

This was the message that popped up in WhatsApp last Friday evening.


Three Wonky Floors

Let me explain. My son Tom and wife Su bought a run-down Victorian terraced house in Hastings, East Sussex, just over 12 months ago. It needed a lot of work before they could move in with their baby boy, Wilbur.

I offered from the outset to go and help them with the work (I’ve acquired a few building skills over the years and am still a keen property developer in a low-key way).

Anyway, until now they haven’t really needed me. And what with Covid-19 restricting activity, especially travel, going over to the UK hasn’t been feasible.

I’m delighted that they need me at last. The plan is that I’ll go over for about a week in early March and work intensively to get part of the house habitable for them to move in the following weekend.

This request was so unexpected that I view this as the first piece of serendipity I’ve had for a while (well. in 10 days!).


Oh, Bow!

The second serendipity is that I’ll get to visit my daughter, Amy, husband Carlo and my two London grandchildren, Felix and Jude.

And guess what? Amy, an accomplished oboeist, is playing in a concert while I’m staying with them in Bow, East London.


Brotherly Love

My only other close relative in the UK is my brother Simon, who lives near Bristol. When I asked him if I could come and visit for a few days, he said yes, of course.

But he also asked if I could extend my stay and go with him and wife Marilyn on holiday to Cornwall, to Camelot country.

And what about my wife, Rita, who has always dreamt of visiting Cornwall? We were due to go in May 2020, but had to cancel because of Covid-19.

When I asked her, she was delighted. So she will now fly over for a week and get to see a part of the UK she has never seen.

That has to be a classic case of Serendipity.



The travel arrangements are somewhat complicated, but I think we’ve got there. I’ll fly to Gatwick, pick up a hire car, drive to Hastings for 5 days or so of hard labour, pop over to Yate, near Bristol to see Simon, Marilyn and extended family who live in the Bristol area.

Then it’s back to Bow for the weekend and that concert.

Rita flies to Stansted on the Sunday evening. I’ll pick her up and we’ll head for the south coast, Brighton or Bognor Regis for a night by the sea, before heading off to Camborne, Cornwall via Stonehenge.

Five nights in a luxury lodge exploring St Ives, Tintagel, Land’s End, Falmouth and the Eden Project.


Serendipity happens to me a lot and I love it.



Previous ‘serendipities’ are available to read elsewhere in the Only Joe King blog.


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