I met a Madeiran woman who said "You're from Ireland? I love Ireland."
Now, when people say this it can mean many things. It certainly does not imply that they've ever visited Ireland, or could find it on a map.
But in this case she had. She'd lived there for twenty years, and used to love going down to Kinsale to stay at Actons and go shark-fishing.
Which I used to do.
Around the same time, as it turned out.
She asked if I was writing about Madeira. I said not really, but that I was curious about George Bernard Shaw learning to tango here. I thought it might make an interesting short story. It turned out she used to live in Shaw's house in Dalkey.
At that point I figured I could have said anything and there'd have been a link.
I should have said 'Armadillo' just to see what happened. Or 'Elvis Costello'. Darn.