Yes, it’s been a while. And I realise that my thousands of Serendipidy followers — I know you wish — have been concerned. “Has she got COVID? Is she still there?  We miss you,” I hear you cry.  Ok so I might be hyperbolising a bit.  But I am ok. Still here. No COVID. Just that groundhog day is not very interesting. I wonder why with my busy diverse lifestyle. But come April 24th when I get my second vaccination willy-nilly I am coming out!

You know that thing when you say that’s a coincidence, I was just about to……. well really is it a coincidence or is it something else.  It happens so much in my life that I am reluctant to believe in the randomness of it.  Synchronicity is why I called my blog Serendipidy (Serendipity was not available) that and because I just love the word.   I am not a particularly airy-fairy kind of person but I do believe that the mysterious life long relationship that we have with natural phenomena has all kinds effects on what we do, how we think and what we feel. The events which happen to us are not by strict cause and effect but because there is acausal relationship between the inside and the outside, a sort of cross talk between mind and matter.

Synchronicity - Wikipedia

I am not alone Dr. Jung believed in a underlying kind of ‘field’ affecting a whole different level of experience. I have vague memories of reading his book in psychology class which focused on Synchronicity.

I wonder what Jung would have made of my experience this week.   One of my sons had asked me for some photographs of him with Tod so I delved into my huge box of photographs in search of the said pics.  In so doing I found a photograph of an old friend I had not seen for 40 years. He was also the close friend of another friend so I sent her the pic with a message “look who I just found.”  Neither of us have seen this man or spoken to him for 40 years. Today I received a phone call.

“Its Sally thank you for the photo you sent me.  It’s very odd though.”

“Why” I replied.

“Well about 2 hours after you sent me the photo, I got a phone call from a friend in Cornwall who told me that this other friend (the one whose pic I had sent – no names for obvious reasons) was in hospital as he had just tried to kill himself.”

Random –   Or is it?  more like synchronicity – something urging me to find the pic. If my son had not asked me for the photos, I would not have found the pic of my old friend, I would not have sent it to Sally so did that somehow influence this person in Cornwall to call her? Who knows? But you have to admit it is very odd.

I have had many many experiences like this but perhaps the most bizarre occurred when my brother was dying in hospital and I camped out in his hospital bedroom. In that week before he passed, I began receiving emails from and/or about people who had passed many years before. Including one from the editor of Woman’s Own which said “Thank you for sending us the idea for a feature on living with my mother who has dementia we would like to commission you to write it.” My mother had been dead for 8 years then. But the most bizarre was a message from my friend Kate who died 3 years previously giving me directions to our joint close friend Penny’s funeral.  Even Tod who was a huge cynic had goose pimples.  The emails were in a loop and kept coming until my brother died, and then they all stopped. So, what was that about?

This whole photo experience has propelled me along a path that is long overdue. Collating and organizing the photos that go back nearly 5 generations.

Two enormous boxes. Great great grandparents, long lost cousins, numerous holidays snaps, way too many naked baby pics, weddings, barmitzvas, parties, 135 school photos and then they abruptly stop as digital takes over.  When I am no longer here my children will be looking at some of these pics and saying “who are all these people?” So, I see it as my responsibility to name them – well as many as possible. Although the naked baby pics all do look a lot alike!  

Top 25 Family Quotes and Sayings | Quotes about photography, Family quotes,  Memories quotes

“Let’s be careful out there”


Why oh why did I ever start this loft spring cleaning. I have just emerged from four hours of sorting through old photographs. It’s raining and cold and we have no heating and I would much rather be under my duvet watching one of the very many movies that have been recommended to me. Instead I am crouched on the floor with cramp in my knees on a very emotional journey through memory lane. And that little space in the middle of the pics is where I have been sitting.


There are pics of my wedding, my parents wedding, my grandparents wedding and my great grandparents wedding. There are pics of my children from age 0, me as a child, my parents as children, their siblings as children, my grandparents as children, their siblings, and so it goes on. And there are pics of people whom I have no idea who they are.

I have found cards the children made for us, cards I made for my parents and cards my parents made for their parents. More letters from Billee in Cairo and  in Rome where she worked hiding Jewish families from the Nazis. I am so proud of her.

billee nazi

I also found some of my old school reports which are embarrassing.

Note to self: do not let the children see them

There is a lot of “Could do better, needs to concentrate, to stop talking  and more effort needed.” Of course, if only anybody had bothered to give me a hearing test, they would have found out that I couldn’t hear so yes, I was easily distracted but also bored and deaf!!! But the remarks from my cookery teacher are just classic.

As we were strictly kosher at home mum made me carry all my pots and pans to school for cookery lessons. Getting on the bus was always a trial as in addition to my school bag I would have another  one full to the brim with cooking utensils. And none of them were in good shape. For example, when making a Victoria Sponge, I required 2 x 8″ round tins, which everybody else in the class happily got out of the school cupboard. I would delve into my bag and bring out 2 rather bent and awkward looking tins which had certainly seen better days and the result was a Victoria Sponge that resembled the leaning tower of Pisa.
And while the rest of the class were calmly rolling out their pastry directly on the flat tables. I had to first lay down a layer of grease proof paper and attempt to roll the pastry out which would insist on sticking to both the paper and the rolling pin.  Need I go on. It doesn’t take much imagination to see what a disaster this was.

And the remarks on my report: ” Tries very hard under difficult circumstances.” Methinks an understatement. I never quite worked out why mum didn’t say just use their stuff and you can give the end product away. I think because she hated waste.

The Maths teacher’s remarks weren’t exactly complimentary.  “Roma is capable of perfectly satisfactory work. When she fails to produce it, it is usually because she has become flustered and careless.” Not surprisingly that I was flustered Mr Finchley (that was his name) you were a little too trigger happy with the ruler. If we got a sum wrong, we would have to stand on our chair, then on the table and if we got it wrong a third time it was a whack with the ruler. We were just 9 years old!

Clearly, I was not a model pupil. I never enjoyed any of my school days right from nursery up until when I left aged 15. So, who are these people who say school years were the best days of their lives?

So what to do with all this memorabilia. Who is going to want it when I am gone and do I want to keep it?  It is quite exhausting just thinking about what to do.

And I leave you with another little treasure. An advert from my father’s tailoring business Ellaneff. Note the prices! £2.12s 6d for a tailored coat.


“Let’s be careful out there”