How many times do we have cause to utter those words!
The photograph is of our village. We live about a mile and a half out of the village but it is still "our village". The farmer was born in the house we live in and has never lived anywhere else (apart from a very short time after our marriage, when we lived in the attached farm cottage). He went to school in the village - walking across the fields each morning to get there. His father and his mother went to the same school. When he was a young man he knew almost everybody who lived there.
My mother and father were both born in villages. My father only ever moved about three miles away in his entire life. My mother went into service at 14 into a house in Lincoln, which was twelve miles away from where she lived - she then married and moved four miles. I was brought up in their village and as a small child we used to play pencil and paper games (my parents and I) to pass winter evenings (pre TV) and I could name every house in the village and everyone who lived there!
But life isn't like that any more, is it? Now there are only a handful of "locals" - the rest are incomers (or off-cum'd 'uns as they are called by the locals). The farmer knows these locals and their wives or husbands, because they married local too - ten miles was as far as you went looking for a mate when you had to walk! He came name the provenance of local families for several generations back given half a chance to reminisce!
But now we are mobile. My Dad never owned a car. In their entire lives my parents went once to London (not impressed), several times a year to Glasgow, where my brother lived and many times to Lowestoft, where my sister lived. When I moved to the Midlands their horizons widened considerably as they came to stay with us.
I went abroad for the first time to Paris in 1953 - then after a gap of a few years I have been all over the world. My sister and her husband went round the world on a cargo boat as a retirement present to themselves. My niece lived and worked in the Solomon Islands for some years. How the world has changed.
That neatly brings me to coincidence. I could tell you of dozens of times when, on holiday, I have met people and within a few minutes of starting a conversation I have found a link - either they live in a place where I know somebody, or we have a common acquaintance - or something similar. These kinds of coincidences give credence to the idea that truth is always stranger than fiction.
Sitting on the banks of Lake Maligne in Canada a few years ago, drinking a coffee and looking at the beautiful scenery,a couple asked if they might share our table. They asked if we were English (I'm afraid it shows!) and where we came from? After a few minutes conversation they located the exact village where I had been born and asked if I remembered a Mrs McGillivray.
She had lived next door to us for some years. "She was my sister!" the woman said.
Have you had similar experiences? I'll best most of you have. If so I would love to hear about them. Have a good day.