Updated: Dec 28, 2019
On December 7, 2019, the Poland group met for lunch at the Cote Brasserie in Chiswick, London. All were there except for Gabrielle, who had house guests; Jeff, who was traveling to Brussels; and Harry, who was in college but was represented by his little sister, Tilly. And Annie, with her daughter Rebecca (Beck).
Nobody knew that Annie was a relative-in-waiting to be discovered. More accurately Annie found us. Her father was Gabriel, Anton, Nick, Ceri and Marq's grandfather. She laughingly referred to herself as Gabriel's love child. Gabriel died when Annie was 13 and, left alone with her mother, the life of luxury she'd known until then came to an end. She had no information about her father's family and it was only after her husband died a few years ago that she began to investigate her family roots. She spoke to people in DSS, which led her to Gabrielle and then to Anton.
Strangely, Annie and I lived in the same street in Brighton when we were children and went to the same school. She's two years younger than I am but we must have met at some point. Maybe we were even friends.
It feels like the pieces of the Zmidek jigsaw are coming together. Who else is out there waiting for a combination of circumstances to lead him or her to the rest of us? Whoever you are, hurry up, we want to meet you.
The occasion was somewhat marred when Anton discovered his wallet had disappeared. We all volunteered to find it: Susan, or was it Lois, and I walked brazenly into the Mens' toilet and searched; Jonathan sent small Tilly to scurry around the floor among people's feet, to poke between the chairs and under the bench. No wallet in sight. We presented a range of theories as to what could have happened to the wallet. Then the manageress recalled seeing a couple who had seated themselves at a table for two not far from us. She said she remembered that they'd behaved rather strangely, hovering around our table and then leaving, telling her to reserve the table for them and that they would be back in 10 minutes. But they didn't come back.