So, there I was in the pub in Dublin, attending OSS Barcamp. Enjoying a beer or six (including Coopers Sparkling Ale, at Jan Schmidt’s recommendation, which bills itself as “the ale by which all others should be measured”, which is frankly a bit of a reach), and chatting to lots of people. The question “is this your first time in Dublin?” came up a lot, and since it is my first time in Dublin, the question got a nod and “but I’ve spent a lot of time in Cork”, because that’s where my family’s from. Mostly it gets the nod-and-smile I’m-not-really-interested reaction, unsurprisingly, and then we get into an argument about emacs or something. One chap, though, said: oh, really? I’m from near Cork. Where exactly? Fermoy, says I. You’re kidding! comes the response. This chap grew up there, it turns out. And not only that, but…he knows well my cousins Ricky and Ted and Sean, Sean is his sister’s landlord, and his mum plays bridge with my great-aunt Annette. My dad’s always said that I couldn’t walk 100 yards down the high street in Fermoy without running into someone I was related to. I didn’t realise the six-degrees-of-friendship thing would extend as far as pubs in Dublin. It’s a small world after all.