I just had a rather special experience, one that couldn't have happened without Facebook ... that social forum I'm not always convinced about.
It was my birthday on Tuesday 22 October and while we were still back in the evening of 21 October, 11 hours behind New Zealand, friends there woke up there and began wishing me a happy birthday via Facebook.
It was lovely.
Midnight my time, rolling over into the European 22nd October and up popped birthday wishes from this side of the world. And in the morning I woke to some more beautiful wishes and emails came rolling in too. I was feeling pretty special by now. Bemused by the role Facebook was playing but special anyway.
And it occured to me as American friends woke that these greetings rolling in from various time zones seemed like one of those great big Mexican Waves you sometimes see in stadiums at sporting events. The Americans arrived in the afternoon of the 22nd, some 6 hours behind Europe.
And on it went. There were photographs sometimes ... and so many smiles were inspired by these people I love and adore, all over the world.
The photograph below ... there's a story. I met Jason in Istanbul. He was my colleague in both private schools we worked at there. He became honorary family and I adored his beautiful soon-to-be wife, Beste.
They took me home to her parents and sister ... a family to surely adore. I loved the times I was invited home to the Asian-side of Istanbul city. And Beste's parents insisted on meeting Gert before he was allowed to take me away to Belgium, standing in for my absent parents, making sure that Belgian bloke was okay.
But the story didn't end there. I met Jim, Jason's old history teacher, when he came to Istanbul. We struck up a friendship that continues to this day. He's a much-loved facebook friend of mine too.
Then came Cloe. Cloe was moving to Belgium. She was an ex-girlfriend of Jason's and had worked with Jim on a political campaign. Both Jason and Jim wrote to her and I, telling us of one another and yes, we became friends ... as you do.
There are so many stories about how I met those friends I have over on Facebook. It's not about numbers, it's about staying in touch when you're 16,000+ kms from home, when you're a woman who moves countries, when you simply enjoy talking with people.
But imagine, there were over 100 messages that rolled in over 36 hours and the photograph below is just one of those that made my soul feel like it was full to overflowing with the pleasure that comes from knowing some really excellent people.
And yes, I did ask permission to post. You can see why I love them.