As his mother’s birthday approached back in February, Derek Dickemann realised there was a curious coincidence between her age and his birth-date which also affected his age and birth-date.
He was born in 1968 and will turn 50 later this year, while his mother Muriel Guyan was born in 1950 and turned 68.
“It had never occurred to me before,” he said.
The more he thought about it, the more he realised how common it was in his family with a similar thing happening with his late father and younger brother.
“I think I should probably go up to the university and get a Chinese mathematician to tell me the odds of this,” he said.
He had told Muriel about the coincidence but said she wasn’t as impressed as he was.
“She just poopooed it,” he laughed.
“It just swept under the carpet.”
A bachelor, Derek said Muriel was the only family he had left after his younger brother and dad died and always kept in close touch with her.
“I phone her at 20 to 12 everyday and I meet her on a Wednesday for a couple of drinks,” he said.
“We go to the theatre and things. My mum’s a big fan of Agatha Christie.”
Derek had happy memories of his childhood growing up in Whitfield, where Muriel still lives, and said she had always been there for him.
“I remember starting primary school and mum had always knitted your garments,” he said.
“Put it this way, there was always food on the table, excellent soups and the place was always tidy so no complaints.
“Things were tight but there was always food on the table. We were brought up the good way, coming home for my dinner and getting home-made soup and pudding made out of tapioca and semolina,” he said.
“Even after my Mum and Dad divorced it was still a happy family.”
Derek said they had never made a big thing out of Mother’s Day.
“Mum wouldn’t like it, she was that type. She’d go ‘oh Mother’s Day, it’s just another gimmick like Easter’,” he said.