What do you do when you meet up with old friends you haven't seen in far too many years?
Well, you talk and laugh and drink all day, obviously.
You arrange to meet in a bar...
...where the laughing and teasing starts within minutes.
(We're blurry, and the day's only just begun...)
You do a bit of sight-seeing too, because after all, you're in London, one of the most fantastic cities in the world.
You might try something you've never done before; in my case, that would be eating oysters.
Plenty of tabasco and lemon juice, and they're good. Just don't chew.
You admire the views afforded by being 800ft above the city at the top of The Shard, Western Europe's tallest building.
You admire your lovely friends too. Not bad for a bunch of 50-somethings!
You stroll by the Thames.
Then you do some more drinking in the sunshine on the South Bank...
...while you try to fill in 25 year gaps in personal and work histories. You talk about university days, hair (facial, lack of, past errors of judgement), kids and families, theatre, the books we have and haven't written or read, music, football, and stalkers. And try to identify the best and worst moments from our time as students.
There are two ex-couples in this mix, but there weren't any oh you just had to bring that up, didn't you? moments. (I could run a competition and ask you to guess which of us were together, but that would be unseemly. And too easy.)
Ahh, first loves and last laughs... It's all so intense when you're young.
Did I mention we're all ex-drama students?
Drama Queens in our very own Greek tragedy in 1984.
Now, we're more mellow. We wear ourselves a little more lightly, I think.
Inevitably, we talked about our friend S who is no longer with us (that's her in the striped dress, at her 21st birthday party.)
She's the reason we got together, and we missed her.
Clare and Martin, 1985 and 2014. Still gorgeous.
Alex and Andrew, 1985 and now. As moody and magnificent as ever.
Martin and Alex - 1984, 1989 and now. My darling boys.
Martin and me, 1984, 1989 and now.
Alex and me, 1985, 1987, 1988 and now.
We had a magnificent meal and a magnum of champagne (courtesy of Andrew, who always was incredibly charming and generous, and still is); we reminisced, confessed, laughed, and then laughed some more.
It was over too soon.
I loved seeing everyone; slow change may have pulled us apart, but we are recognisable to each other. Our younger selves are still here, but we have accrued experience, some scar tissue, great humour, more compassion, and maybe a little wisdom.
I liked us then. But I like us more now.
Sometimes, opening a door to the past simultaneously opens one to the future; here's to Sheffield 2015!