Saturday, 19 March 2016


Serendipity is among the 100 favourite words in the English language, and mine too!

The word was invented by the writer and politician Horace Walpole in 1754 as an allusion to Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. Walpole was a prolific letter writer, and he explained to one of his main correspondents that he had based the word on the title of a fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, the heroes of which ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of ’.

While looking for photos to illustrate the post, I found out that Walpole lived in Twickenham, our old stomping grounds for over twenty years back in the UK. I had not made the connection between Strawberry Hill House and Walpole until then. That's serendipity!

Here's a map showing Walpole's house, followed by photos of his and our houses (circled, then 1, 2 and 3).

Our first house wasn't painted white, it was natural brick colour:


This was a very nice, big house. We planted the magnolia, which is truly spectacular in the spring:

Finally, we moved to this smaller house, then to la belle France! We planted the mock orange, seen here in all its white splendour.