WHAT WOULD happen if you decided to track people's lives around the world based on them sharing exactly the same birthday as you?
Well, this is what English man Richard Avis is documenting in his 'Time Twins' project, and so far his adventures have brought him to New York, Sweden, Italy and Newgrange!
Richard's latest twin to share his birth date of December 1 in 1974 is Donore writer Paul Guildea, who shared a fascinating weekend in the company of Richard and his colleague Stuart Scott, showing him the delights of the Boyne Valley, and sharing his life for a possible book or television series.
'They were really interesting and I think it is a great idea, and I'm honoured to have been chosen as the first Irish Twin,' says Paul, whose novel 'The Pebble' was published last year.
'We did an indepth interview on the book, but then they stayed on, and we attended a GAA match where Louth won, and ended up chatting until the wee small hours.'
The pair then visited most of the locations mentioned in the book, finding them very interesting.
'It was great to meet Paul, and just hear about the life of someone who could be me if it weren't for circumstances,' says Richard, who was born in Scotland but now lives near London.
'The idea is to explore the similarities and differences in the lives of these people who have spent the same number of days on Earth as me, reflecting on their hopes, ambitions and successes and celebrating the cultural heritage of the towns and countries where they live.'
So far, Richard's quest has taken him to meet nine people including an actor in NYC, a champion bodybuilder in Holland, an Olympian in Norway and the mayor of an Italian town ravaged by an earthquake.
'I am also off to Austria, Thailand, Russia, Indonesia, Croatia, Morocco, Slovenia and Brunei in coming months,' he adds.
'The plan was to meet 40 people before I'm 40, and I wouldn't rule out coming back to Ireland again if I contacted or was contacted by the right person.'
More details of the project are available at www.richardavis.com.