The world just keeps shrinking!
Well once again I find myself in one of those ‘it’s a small world’ moments that happen inexplicably from time to time. This time it’s with a fellow expat blogger Iota who also happens to pass her time in the great mid-west.But that’s not the real coincidence, you see Iota and I once shared the same junior school playground a mere 35 years ago, give or take a few!We discovered it a few months back when I saw her comment on another blog about having grown up in Chesham (Bucks). Knowing we were similar in age I immediately emailed her to learn more. Well we soon realised we not only grew up in the same vicinity, but also went to school together for a number of years!Memories flooded back of our happy days at Chesham Prep school, old friends and teachers. I managed to find my old school reports including this one from when I was six - let me tell you, numbers never did get any easier! Iota was a couple of years above me, but this was a small independent school where everyone knew everyone else, or at the very least a sibling. Initially she thought she actually remembered me, but there were two of us with the same name in the school and it was the other Sarah Williams she remembered. I remember my namesake for just that reason, but she never drifted as far away as I did and still lives in Chesham with five kids, so there was no mistaking us now!We may not remember each other, but we do share the same fond memories of the school. The blue and white striped little dress, which the girls still wear to this day. The not so flattering or fondly remembered vests and navy blue knickers worn for PE, with the formidable and chain-smoking Mrs. Davis. The regular nature walks around the orchards (as in picture above) surrounding the school and I have particular memories of a ‘Teddy Bears’ picnic in my early years there. Sports Day was always fun and I enjoyed the three-legged race, for which many hours were spent practicing and the Egg & Spoon race. We have similar memories of our teachers, the fearsome and scarily peroxided Mrs. Edwards, and Mr. Kitchenman who taught History and Geography, classes I remember really enjoying. I also suffered my earliest embarrassing moment at CPS. We would go swimming to Amersham Pool once a week and it was usual to arrive with your swimming costume on under your clothes. Well imagine my horror at about 8yrs old, when after the class as I dried off and prepared to dress in my uniform, only to realise I had left my underwear at home! So I had to suffer the ultimate humiliation of telling a teacher and then riding the bus back to school, whilst trying to keep my short skirted dress low enough to hide my dark secret. Things got a whole lot worse though when my mother showed up at school with my knickers and I had to leave class to put them on. Oh fond memories indeed!Iota and I now live just a few hundred miles apart and regularly see similarities in our lives and viewpoints as expats. She blogs about her family, understanding her kids accents, and life here in the mid-west from our shared side of the fence. We have both faced health trials since we moved here. Iota has blogged extensively and inspiringly about her battle with breast cancer and the trials it throws in your path. In a lesser way I have related to her problems with 'chemobrain', as my own ‘thyroidbrain’ seemed to have a similar effect on me. We have both decided to leave behind that great British institution of ironing anything that could or does crease once we crossed the pond. And we have shockingly both grown to like Green Bean Casserole, Expatmum is shrieking in disgust as she reads this.But mine and Iota’s story has one final twist. It seems highly likely that I once had my hands in her mouth! My first job after school was as a Dental Nurse in Chesham and guess who was a patient at the same time. Now that really is bizarre!I encourage you to drop by her blog today to read her side of the story and also to see her modelling those blue and white stripes!