School Reunion

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Well here we are – some, not all of us. Our old school building is now home to the junior school and the head teacher had kindly opened up to let us have a wander round for an hour or so. Some of us found our way back to the old rose garden and we took a few photos on the bench. We wandered around the old grounds and marvelled at how we were expected to play rounders on such a steep hill.

I had not returned with trepidation at all, but it is fair to say that some of the girls had. Whilst I was happily drifting through my school years (well not happily all of the time, obviously, a good helping of teenage anxst too) some of my fellow pupils were agonising over home, school, exams, life in general. My demons were well and truly dealt with as they appeared, for others they lay in wait within the walls of the old school building. That aside – we had a massive turn out and the general concensus seemed to be that it was a good day. A fair amount of verbal teacher bashing went on, although some were very fondly remembered. Frau F the German teacher joined us for lunch and she was just like one of the girls. She, along with one of my school friends who is now Director of Public Health for a health authority, helped form my vaguely feminist/political ideals. Frau F’s oral lessons often comprised of translating the Guardian Women’s page into German – I thank her for that!

The day went all too quickly, but was exhausting. We hope to meet up in London sometimes to have another catching-up session. The general topic tended to be ‘you haven’t changed at all.’ The most remarkable thing for me was to discover that for the most part we slipped straight back into our school girl roles from 25 years before and that despite the years it was really as if we had only been apart for a few months. Some of the friendships I formed then have never been equalled since and I sincerely hope that this time I don’t let them slip away.

And how about that thing ‘success’? The main topic was family or partners, whether we were settled after all these years – quite a few girls have packed in the high powered jobs and started new ventures, a dress shop, art degree, homeopathy, pure and simple parenting, even the ‘oldest holiday rep in England’ and the Lovely J-A, our old head girl, has packed it all in to be a writer so I hope to rekindle that friendship and have some long talks with her. Writing? Have I done any? Not for weeks. 

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