Sunday, 25 May 2014

Will you recognise me? Call my name or walk on by?


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!

xxxx

55 comments:

Liz said...

Sounds like a wonderful day!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Asparagus Pea said...

How lovely to catch up with old friends - my support network of friends in cardiff includes at least half a dozen I was at uni with in aberystwyth 84-87. And yes, you guessed it, most of us were doing drama! xxx

Debberoo said...

What a special day and you all look absolutely fab! I always felt as if I knew Alex and Martin, even though we only met ever so briefly. I so loved your epic letters from Uni, they were such a delight to receive. You have always been such a natural writer. xxxxx

señora Allnut said...

wouau, you've been rocking London with old friends, that's a Fabulous Day!!, champagne, talking and laughing and enjoying!, everything sounds delightful!
And so great that you're sharing your 80's pics for our amusement!, ohhhh
besos & reminiscences!

Shawna McComber said...

What an amazing and fantastic experience. It looks like you had such a good time and you always end up with such great photos from your adventures. I was particularly struck by the clouds in the one picture and it was so fun to see the comparisons of the 1985 photos with now. Oh the 80s! Did you like the oysters? You are much braver than I am.
xoxo

Northern mum down South said...

what a lovely time together, hopefully the first of many more to come - great photos x

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

Oh Curtise, this is just so dear!!! xoxo

Kelly Jackson said...

Oh wow, I think it's so amazing you bosom buds all got together so many years later. How many university pals would do that? I certainly don't keep in touch with my uni cohorts - thankfully as they ended up being crappy friends in the end! Anyway, thanks for sharing all the photos, then and now, and I'm so happy you had such a lovely reunion. Xoxo

Diane said...

Ahh Drama Students - that explains a lot! What a lovely get together - it makes you wonder why you left it so long doesn't it. So glad you had a fantastic time. xxx

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

....what a great post Curtise! So, so much more than what it appears on the surface. You had me lost in 1978, and you've also got me pondering the future! Brilliant writing cuz!

Natalia Lialina said...

Dear dear Curtise, it's like watching a great movie - only even better... Loved everything about your post, so deeply touching! I just know that you were the one who stirred things up - you are amazing for doing it. It looks like such an unforgettable day! London is gorgeous (my dream), and your collages of the city are just the best. And so are your collages of the people. Young people are fun and cute, but I was always as long as I remember drawn to more mature people (old soul). So yes, I too like you guys even more now.

I somehow knew that S is in the stripy dress. She brought you all together again. For some reason, it all was needed to happen... Sad and beautiful all at the same time.

There is still plenty of time to write and read all those books! You are amazing.

xxxxxxx

Natalia Lialina said...

ps Love oysters! Just lemon juice for me - and I chew them! :)))

Penny-Rose said...

Lovely post Curtise, really heartfelt, and great photos.

Krista Gassib said...

I liked us then but love us more now that's just perfect! I really enjoyed seeing your friends then and now and I'm dying of envy at the view from the shard, I must see that next time!!! Thank you for the reminder that the past can open up new things in the future!
Love you!
Xxxxxx

Goody said...

Oh what a beautiful post. A lovely thing to be able to see old friends again.

The sun came out for your visit to London (strangely, I've never seen London in the sunshine. I should stop visiting in winter I guess!)which (almost) makes the city sparkle. The group of you seem rather sparkly as well. Glad you had a good visit.

Angels have Red Hair said...

What a fantastic day out!!! I'm glad you had a good time. I'm struggling to work out who were the couples ... it's not easy at all ... are you going to give us the answer???
Sadness, happiness, memories good and bad ... that's what reunions are all about.
xx

Lucy Nation said...

I loved reading this Curtise. How is it that you can get so emotionally invested in the journeys of others?! Revisiting the past like this is a massive deal but it sounds like it went perfectly. You're just teasing us about the couples though aren't you. I can't quite make it out from the photos. Go on, spill! :) xx

Patti said...

What a completely wonderful day - your pics of the city are beautiful and likewise of your old mates. Sweet, sad at times, but I see lots of fun too. xox

Winter Moon said...

I so enjoyed seeing all your 'then and now' photographs. What a perfectly lovely outing. I'm glad you all still get along. A wonderful post xx

Sheila said...

Thank you for the "then and now" photos - I love seeing those. And thank you for taking us along with you on your jaunt (I know the Globe! I've been there).

Helga said...

O, how bloody marvellous is this?!
I can just hear the laughter ringing out from these pix. So pleased it went so well, but I suspect there was no other way for it to go!
It's amazing to me, how time passes, yet the feelings largely remain the same, and the energy, the connection is so strong!
GLORIARSE!
Now, hurry up will you, I'm waiting on my sloppy seconds!
Love you and your gorgeous grin!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Olga Rani said...

Nice to hear that you still enjoy the company of each others. No doubt you had an amazing day together. Love all those "then and now" photos.

Brooke F said...

It is wonderful when you catch up with old pals that you haven't seen in ages and it feels as if no time at all has passed. That's true friendship. How wonderful to reminisce and drink the day away with great people that you share a past with. And how great are some of those pics of you guys from the 80's - awesome hair all round! XXX

two squirrels said...

Oh Curtise this is just so so wonderful.........the connection of true friends.......happiness, love and life.
Love v

Ivy Black said...

Bloody wonderful! A get together at it's very best. It looks like a wonderful day with friends. Younger selves never go very far away.
I bet it was like you only saw each other last week and you picked up where you left off.
I bet you were lovely Drama students...I'd have sewn your costumes. I bet you wouldn't have chucked stuff over the dressing room floor.
xxx

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Darling Curtise,

....'Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn....'

True friendships really do stand the test of time and this meeting shows how true that is. You all look wonderful (so much better looking than before) and are clearly totally comfortable in each other's company. What fun you must have had!

How intriguing that you were all Drama Students. The perfect dress rehearsal for real life which in our view is an Opera of many acts. But, how very sad that one of your friends has not lived to see thus day. It is such things that really make one realise that life must be lived to the full.

Happy days!

Mother of Reinvention said...

Your day looked wonderful. It is great to meet up with old friends and the years just melt away. You all looked amazing and so happy. Xxxx

Diary of a penny pincher said...

How lovely for you, not many folk can meet up like that and still get on, or even want to meet up in the first place! Looks like you had a fab time, can't wait to see the next reunion pics!

Kelly Roy said...

Emotional and bitter sweet! But thank God there is always the bright side. Before you were one in the crowd but now you stand out! You gained that!

Beth Waltz said...

Drama students? But of course you all appeared on time, fit and well; you dressed for the scene and set, knew your lines and hit your marks!

When kids you shouted questions about life in improv. As adults who've played many roles you can whisper the answers -- and, thankfully, laugh at many of them.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us!


Ariane Lasalle said...

Hello Curtise,

What a wonderful post, i truly enjoyed it - True friendship always remains - I have a few good friends that i never see, and real sad about it, but we never try to make time - Great you took all the time to see each other -
Great pics, i love the then and now, you all look so good and you still look smashing!

Hugs

Arianexo

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

It's amazing the number of photos you still have, with moving around a lot, I seem to have misplaced far too many. Thank you so much for sharing such a very special day with some warm-hearted old friends. Yes, one does certainly acquire plenty of compassion, scar tissue and loads of wisdom with age, I too like myself better than the younger model of me. Well said my friend. xoxoxo

Vicky Hayes said...

I don't know why but this made me sob like an infant. Glad you got together and had a fab day Curtise. Vicky x

Wee Wendy said...

I loved this Post. Isn't it great how you can just pick up where you left off, as if you've never been apart? True friends clearly! x

Vix said...

This is just so lovely, Curtise. Out of such a sad situation you dusted yourselves off and had the most wonderful time. What a fantastic tribute to S.
The years have been kind, you all look fantastic and the body language and big smiles prove that true friendship survives distances and years spent apart.
Loved what you wore and love you! Thanks for sharing. xxxxxxxxxx

Val S said...

What an amazing day! The views from the Shard are incredible and heart-stopping, and with your group of friends you are really walking on air.

I guess that's one of the joys of getting older - reliving old friendships is much more profound. The perspective of many years makes all those wrinkles and signs of age even more beautiful on a face you loved in your youth.

Forest City Fashionista said...

It's such a shame that it often takes the death of a friend or relative to bring together folks who haven't seen each other in ages. Then you have such a nice time catching up that you wonder why you waited so long to do it? I'm glad you have planned a get-together for next year.

It looks like you had a lovely time in London, and reunions are always more fun with bubbly. I'm amazed you could dig up all those old pics. I have nothing from my university days!

Miss Magpie said...

It looks like such a great day out. You have so many photos from your college days, sadly I have hardly any.

thorne garnet said...

wow, that's some view. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. It's sad your other friend passed away.

Ex-drama students? Guess that would explain the photo of that theatre

Mrs Bertimus said...

Such a wonderfully penned post.
I e gone all wistful now...x

PinkCheetahVintage said...

This is absolutely wonderful, besides missing your one friend, it's so lovely to see you all then and now.

Kezzie said...

Oh how wonderful! I love seeing this and hope I too may have wonderful reunions!!!x

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

What a brilliant post and photos. Wonderful to reminisce with love.

bisous
Suzanne

The Style Crone said...

What could be better than meeting up with old friends in London. Your photos speak a thousand words. A wonderful way to celebrate your friend S, and each other.

Connie said...

I love what you wore. You look so beautiful. A fabulous day. Story well told. XXXXOOOO

Sue said...

I love catching up with people from the past, and you all look as if it was good fun. So glad you already have next years get together booked. Thanks for the photographic tour of London!!

Melanie said...

It certainly looks as though you had fun in the capital! The photos from atop the Shard made me feel dizzy! I love all the pictures from 'back in the day' xxx

Fiona said...

So glad the connections were still there Curtise and despite the great sadness about S, something wonderful happened. Looks like a fabulous time was had by all, your London pics are fabulous.
xxxx

freckleface said...

Oh this is precious. You can feel the happiness coming out of these photos. So sad about your friend S but lovely that you all remember her so fondly. That's how people live on. Your day sounds perfect, and it's so great to reconnect with dear friends after time has passed. But what a tease you are with all those photo combinations. I can't figure out the couples at all! Am I the only nosey one? Xxxxxx

Trudie said...

Such a beautiful post Curtise. I can feel your connectedness to one another through this post and pics. Just beautiful.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

What wonderful snapshots.
I graduated from Bangor University in 1988.
I can feel a post coming on.

Fanny Love said...

Beautiful photographs. I love London too. And especially adore the oysters one can find at Borough Market. You're quite right.. they're divine when downed with plenty of lemon juice and tabasco sauce.

Fanny x

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

Aw, lovely post. I'm glad the day was a huge success. I think it's a great thing if you like yourselves more now. I like myself more now than in my twenties. We must be doing something right! xxx

Trees said...

What a lovely post, I really hope you guys are able to meet up more regularly now. It's wonderful seeing all the college photos against the new ones. Makes me think about my own friends from University, I think I trip to Auckland will be on the cards soon xoxo

Veshoevius said...

What a great post! It's wonderful to meet up with old friends. Loved the trip down memory lane with the photos too.