WHAT A WEIRD WORLD!
Bob and I were visiting family in Ewell, Surrey in May this year. We decided to have a day out in Kingston upon Thames - it was a lovely sunny day and we had to walk to the local bus stop not far away in Epsom. Bob had a sore foot so we walked slowly and missed our bus, and had to wait half an hour for the next one. At the bus stop there was a bench seat, and a lady moved along a bit to allow one of us (Bob) to sit down. We got into conversation.
She was to be working in Epsom for 3 years in the Care sector, and was going along to a local medical practice to collect a prescription. We were visiting family in the South, and this was considered by her to be fortunate as her family were far away and she missed them, especially her grandchildren. We were told their names and ages. The youngest, a girl, hardly recognised her when she went home because the gap in visits were too much for the toddler's memory to cope with. What did our grandchildren call me? Good old Scottish "Granny". She is "Anya" to her children in her country.
We talked about her enjoying working in our country, how some people were friendlier than others,how long she was to stay in this country and her next visit home. She was really looking forward to that, and seeing all the young ones again, hoping the youngest might remember her and appreciate the presents she was organising for them all.
The bus came, we all got on and she sat in the seat in front of us to continue the conversation. It was as if, to her, there was some sort of connection. We established we lived quite far a way in Scotland. Oh, but she had knowledge of Scottish people as she had worked for some at home, before coming here. This would have been aboout ten years previously. The man was a .... She could not think of the correct term at this point for a religious person. A Father? A Preacher? A Minister? A Priest? All got a "no". The family, lots of children had left Hungary to go an work in a tiny place in Scotland, with a doctor, a teacher and Royal people.
It could not possibly be! Exchanged glances at the point. Pure disbelief. So I asked if it was Ken MacKenzie? Yes, Reverend MacKenzie and Jane. The three of us sat in shocked silence for a few minutes, in total amazement at everything falling into place and allowing us to meet, talk to, and give the lady the address of the Manse, before she left the bus, all three of us with a smile of total bewildrement on our faces. We spent the rest of the day wondering if the whole event really happened.
And that is how we met Edit Cgikog, a lovely lady who worked with Ken and Jane in Budapest. What are the chances of all these factors falling into place to instigate such a meeting? Yes, it certainly is a small world!
Pat Thomson is a member of the Castleton Dancers, Braemar - a group which has raised many thousands of pounds for charity. Pat was chosen to participate in the Queen's Baton relay prior to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - see picture.