Someone who hasn’t often been mentioned in this column (never, in fact) is Shakin’ Stevens.

But all that is about to change because, as I write this, I am humming one of his hits (apologies if you can’t get it out of your head for the rest of the day).

This Ole House, which reached number one in the singles chart in 1981, dates back to 1954, when it was written by singing cowboy Stuart Hamblen after he stumbled on the dead body of a man and his dog in a hut while on a hunting expedition with - of all people - John Wayne.

You couldn’t make this stuff up (although it seems not everybody is convinced that Hamblen didn’t).

Anyway, it’s a nice story, and the song has some interesting lyrics, and I am reminded of them now because we are celebrating the anniversary of moving into our ole house, exactly 29 years ago.

We should have many more years of living here in front of us, because we have absolutely no intention of leaving, as long we are lucky enough to have a say in the matter. But while we all like to think we are permanent fixtures in our homes, we are, of course, nothing of the sort. We are just passing through, and relatively briefly, as anybody who watched the excellent history series, A House Through Time, now understands.

When we were first married, my wife and I lived somewhere else: opposite the cemetery gates at 36 Radnor Street. I was there for six years in all, in the 1980s. But a strange echo of the address turned up in my life, much more recently, setting off a chain of coincidences that, frankly, I found a bit spooky.

Let me explain. In 2018 I edited a book called A Swindon Time Capsule, which was a collaboration between Swindon Heritage, Swindon Central Library, and Mike Attwell, who had donated a huge collection of family memorabilia to the library’s brilliant Local Studies department. It was while going through that memorabilia that I discovered that the central figure in the book, a man called Jack Dixon, had also lived at 36 Radnor Street when he was first married.

Then another person working on the project, Frances Bevan (an esteemed local historian and the author of a brand new book called Struggle and Suffrage in Swindon), realised her son had once rented what became Jack Dixon’s next address, in George Street.

The next and latest book I am working on, which I am co-writing with historian Noel Ponting, is about a fascinating railwayman called George Hobbs, who was writing articles for this paper, a hundred years ago, but also over a longer period.

The coincidence, this time, is that George’s address for most of this time was 4 Jennings Street in Rodbourne. No, I didn’t live there - but my grandfather did. In fact, he was there during all 13 years that my lifetime and his overlapped, and of course I remember visiting him there.

He even died in the house, as did my uncle.

And as if all that wasn’t coincidence enough, the person who now lives there is none other than the daughter of the aforesaid Frances Bevan.

As I ponder the mysteries of a world that always seems to have a way of connecting everything together in the end, it sometimes keeps me awake at night. But at least it gets those annoying songs from the 1980s out of your head.

Take it away, Shaky…