Thursday, October 28, 2010

One degree of separation

There's a Facebook page, though it appears to have been abandoned for some months now, called "Hey, my name is ..." "Don't worry, we're in Adelaide, I know who you are."

I thought of this today when I arrived for my appointment in the sub-basement of the Art Gallery of SA where its research library resides, ready to take what turned out to be sixteen pages of truly awesome notes, and was greeted by a lovely librarian who said 'I believe you know my husband,' which indeed I did, having been on a committee with him for three years. Then I opened the file she'd kindly found and set out for me, and discovered that at least half a dozen of the items in it had been written by the father of a bloke I studied Honours English with in 1976, and whom at that point I already knew a bit because he'd gone to primary school with my sister.

The Adelaide population may now be well up over a million, but it still really isn't all that different from my home town:


16 comments:

ThirdCat said...

A few days after we got to Abu Dhabi someone in the school playground said, after they'd asked where I was from, 'Adelaide? Oh, I wonder if you'll know...' then called this other woman over and of course it took two seconds to establish our half degree of separation.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Two whole seconds? Tch.

TimT said...

What's the plural term for people from Adelaide - Adeladies?

Stephanie Trigg said...

What a gorgeous photo, though. The road curving up and down as if helping the shimmering heat mirage to work; the old stone walls; the line of verandahs... Iconic, Pav, iconic.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

TimT, I wrote that very word down, for the book, only yesterday. In my case it was specifically to describe the keen-eyed, cotton-clad, water-bottle-toting and discriminatingly book-buying women who turn out in droves to Writers' Week and the Festival of Ideas.

I don't think the men of Adelaide would take kindly to that word 'people', though. For what it's worth, I've not seen any higher concentration of pantywaists here in Adders than in any other Australian city. If anything, au contraire.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Stephanie, iconic indeed, and it really is Curramulka, though alas a photo not taken by moi. Indeed I was shocked by it -- I know that street like the back of my proverbial, having gone past it every day on the school bus, and yet this shot is a classic bit of making-strange. I had no idea the old home town had such pockets of gorgeousness till other people pointed them out to me.

Deborah said...

The really scary thing is that the half degree of separation in Adelaide started happening to me within thee months of us moving here. A very short incubation period.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Deborah, once you get into university circles it can be a matter of days.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think the men of Adelaide would take kindly to that word.."

They'd be Adeladdies

Anonymous said...

Reading this recalls Douglas Adams' infinite improbability drive, which has the property of normalizing the most unlikely chance encounters. But I can't figure how Adams could have known: he wasn't here for Writers' Week yonks ago was he?

TFA

screamish said...

so that photo is Curramulka? I was wondering where it was, it looks incredible...

One of my new friends is a girl that lives in my small town France, she moved here a year ago from the USA and when friends introduced us it turns out we knew each other 18 years ago in Brisbane at uni. Wierd.

David Irving (no relation) said...

Adelaide is such a small town that you'll run into people you know everywhere.

For instance, many years ago, when my late mother was on Sabbatical, on arriving at the airport in New York she bumped into the bloke who was the best man at my wedding, on his way home.

Fine said...

I lived in Adelaide for four years and the first night I arrived I was taken to a party. I didn't know a soul in town, so I thought. Who should be at the party but a bloke who lived across the road from me when we were growing up and whom I hadn't seen for years. Seems like a very Adelaide occurrence.

ThirdCat said...

And I just remembered that the only other Australian mother at the school is from Sydney, but she grew up in Adelaide, and her brother-in-law used to cut my hair.

(there might be other Australian families at the school, but I don't think so)

M-H said...

Kerryn, as Deborah knows, Palmerston North is very like this too. The University circles there are really miniscule, and largely composed of people who used to be married to other people in the circle, from my memory.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

For some reason Adelaide's not quite as bad as that. By and large, acas here tend to settle down and stay married. After they get tenure, anyway. Also there are three universities and they tend to keep themselves to themselves in that respect.

AFAIK, of course.