I had an odd experience last night. I say odd, but that’s making it sound more dramatic than it is on closer inspection.

I’m an ex-pat and have been for approximately two-thirds of my life. Some years ago, I passed the threshold of living outside my birthplace for more years than in. Some years ago, I passed the threshold of living more years with my mother no longer alive than alive. These are arbitrary datelines, but they have meaning and significance when you are the person directly living them.

Last night, I passed one of those arbitrary thresholds. Through circumstances irrelevant —a birthday party— I caught up with someone I hadn’t seen in more than 15 years. I’ve now crossed the threshold of having acquaintances from long ago in my relatively new life in the French West Indies.

If this had happened whilst I was still in the UK, meeting someone from ten or twenty years ago, I wouldn’t remark upon it. But it happened here, in my adopted home of over 18 years, making life’s timeline more intriguing to me.

11 December 2022 — French West Indies