I was playing a CD as we drove into town. We parked on Valley Drive as we were doing a walk up to Harlow Carr. The CD was the original soundtrack of the movie 'Seven Years in Tibet'. The music was composed by John Williams with cello solos by Yo-Yo Ma. I love the haunting music that is the soundtrack to the film starring Brad Pitt. 'Seven Years in Tibet' is based on Heinrich Harrer's memoir of Tibet in the early 1940's. It is a story of personal transformation and redemption. He is even graced with the friendship of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama who at the time was a young boy of eleven. The music brought back memories of the time Lynne, Louisa, Susie and I met Heinrich Harrer in Darjeeling in 1994. It had been a moment of amazing serendipity. But more of that later . . . .
Serendipity Moment 1: Lynne and I had a good walk up through the Pinewoods to Harlow Carr. We even added an extra bit by walking to Birk Crag. We easily completed our 10,000 steps. We had to pop into town after the walk so we decided to go for a coffee in Bean and Bud. I had my usual white chocolate mocha (see photo of mocha on an earlier blog) and Lynne had a hot chocolate. We even had a Portuguese custard tart (see my blog of 17th March). Yummy!
As we sat down in Bean and Bud we were pleased to see Karen from our church. She was on our last Alpha course and is now in our home group. Serendipity moment . . . As usual I was thinking of mountains and the 'Seven Years in Tibet' soundtrack I had been listening to earlier. Karen knew we were going on a trip but didn't know where. I said we were going to Tibet. She then mentioned that she and her brother were working on a film that her father had made of climbing a peak in the Himalayas. He had been the photographer on this climb back in the 1950's. Wow! I was so intrigued. She suggested I might like to meet her brother and find out more next time he is in Harrogate. The Himalayan thread of the day was to continue. . . .
Serendipity Moment 2: After Bean and Bud Lynne went off to M+S and I went to Specsavers to make an appointment for an eye test. As I walked into the shop I could see it was very busy. The manager came across to me and suggested we sit down. I handed him a letter I had just received which stated I had not had an eye test for nearly three years. He asked if I was having a good day. I explained we had just been for a walk and I had achieved my 10,000 steps. I then noticed he was wearing a 'fitbit' watch. We had something in common. He then arranged an eye test for next Monday.
He then asked if I was looking for any particular type of glasses. I explained that I didn't like wearing sunglasses but that because of our up-coming trip to Tibet it might be perhaps worth considering tinted glasses. He suggested polaroid sunglasses would be the best option for high altitude sunlight. We then got chatting about the Himalayas. I just happened to mention my passion for the British Everest Expeditions of the 1920's and particularly about Mallory and Irvine who disappeared on the 1924 expedition. He then asked if I had read Jefrey Archer's book 'Paths of Glory'. I said I had not come across it. He had just finished reading it. He said excuse me for a minute and he went upstairs. He then came back and handed me the book! He said I could borrow it and he didn't expect me to read it before Monday.
I am already on page 80 and really enjoying the novel.
So I drove home from town to the soundtrack of 'Seven Years in Tibet'. I had encountered two serendipity moments concerning the Himalayas.
Another serendipity moment in the past also concerned 'Seven Years In Tibet'. Way back in 1983 while travelling through South America a fellow traveller told us about the story of Heinrich Harrer. We were totally fascinated by this incredible true story. A few weeks after our trip we received a copy of the 1956 Pan edition of 'Seven Years in Tibet' as a gift from our fellow traveller. It was a fascinating read and we couldn't put it down until we had finished it. Two years later we were in Tibet and exploring The Potala with Tibetan pilgrims!
It was Henrich Harrer! More of that in a later blog. A true moment of serendipity! If you go to the 'Scrapbooking' section of 'Beyond the Sacred Mountains' you will find a scrapbook page about our chance meeting with Heinrich Harrer.
Have a great weekend.