In nour local art gallery in Newcastle I met by chance two Dutch colleagues of my brother, who worked in the Netherlands. I knew one was called Helen. We agreed to meet that evening. Five minutes later, also in the gallery, I met an ex pupil of mine whom I had not seen for 15 years, called Helen Scott. We chatted. At home, I realised I did not know the surname of my brother's friend, Helen, in order to phone her hotel and rearrange our time of meeting.