The world can sometimes seem like such a big place. Good friends moving to a different continent and my own yearning for travel serve as regular reminders. And even as technology advances and keeping in touch becomes easier, other events make us realise that planet Earth is pretty vast.
Did you know that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our ocean floors? And when Concorde was decommissioned nearly 13 years ago, its last pilot said, “Our shrinking world just got a little bigger.” He was right, no plane since has matched Concorde for speed.
And yet sometimes, something happens that stops me in my tracks and makes me realise that it’s actually an incredibly small world. I’ve heard such amazing stories about small world coincidences that I wanted to start sharing some of them on my blog. That’s what the small world series is all about. Please do get in touch if you have a story to share.
The Small World Series: Plutonium Sox
Yesterday, I had a meeting about becoming a blogger partner to Europa Park, Europe’s biggest theme park. I knew that the theme park was in the Black Forest in Germany, which really interested me because my family originate from the area.
During the meeting, I asked which part of the Black Forest the park was situated in and mentioned that my family were from the area. It turned out that not only was the park a short distance from where my family originated – a tiny village called Oberharmersbach – but the person I was speaking with was from the next town.
As the conversation moved on, we chatted about how my Great, Great Grandfather had been forced to leave the area when there was a work shortage just before the First World War. I mentioned that he was keen to become a watchmaker and left for the UK to find work as an apprentice. I knew that making watches and clocks was a traditional craft in Oberharmersbach and the surrounding area.
What also became apparent during the conversation was the fact that the other traditional craft in the area at the time, was organ building. I chatted to my dad about this today and it was a fact he was unaware of too.
So, what’s the relevance of the practise of such an obscure trade in the region my family came from? Well back when my dad left school, he was looking for a trade. He tried a few things, eventually finding a dwindling and rarely practised trade that he took to like a duck to water. What was the trade? Yes, it was organ building.
Europa Park has just opened for a new season and I’ve decided that this will be the year when I go back to my roots and visit Oberharmersbach. I’m hoping my dad might come along too. And of course, we’ll combine it with a visit to Europa Park so the girls can experience the magic for themselves.
Do you have a story of small world coincidence that you’d like to share? Please do leave me a comment or drop me an email, I’d love to hear your story.