I hold my hands up and admit I am somewhat of a Luddite when it comes to technology. I am a very recent convert and view it with a great deal of scepticism and general suspicion. I tend to favour a more traditional approach to things and have happily let the world carry on at lightning speed whilst I potter along behind shouting at random items of equipment when they didn’t do what I want. I wouldn’t go as far as advocating carrier pigeons and smoke signals however I do think that old-fashioned letters and notes are rapidly being replaced by stark, instant and somewhat cold forms of communication such as text messages and emails.
However, about nine months ago I finally admitted that I was the last person in The Western World to have dodged Facebook and signed up. I spent a couple of giddy winter evenings looking at people’s profiles, being slightly bemused by some of their interests and likes
who would have suspected an interest in mounted butterfly’s and had a cursory flick through pictures of their children, dogs and holiday snaps. I certainly did not use it as a tool to look at ex-boyfriends, that would have been very silly I can tell you. A few days later I was clearing out a cupboard containing the usual detritus of life and I stumbled upon some long-forgotten photographs that had been taken whilst at University. So began the ‘I wonder what they are doing now ?….’ questions. Aided by the modern miracle that is Facebook I was promptly up to date with all the births, marriages and deaths from the last 16 or so years.
Emails were rapidly exchanged by all of my old house-mates and the two other dear friends who more or less lived there. I tentatively suggested we should all meet up and reminisce about our child-free, freedom filled and booze-soaked days and the resounding response was an absolutely. After much changing and revising of dates
due to one person forgetting her father’s birthday we eventually found a date that suited all of us and the countdown began.
As the date drew closer I started to worry that we might all have changed so much in the intervening years that we would sit in silence and stare at our hands. Or long-forgotten arguments would be resurrected and finally settled by an impromptu dual and the ultimate death of one of the party. Or that we would all be so exhausted with our current lives involving children, working and commuting that we would be in bed for 9pm after the lure of a night’s sleep uninterrupted by small children, proved too great.
My fears were needless, sixteen years evaporated in seconds and suddenly we were all back to being students, teasing each other about events from many years ago and retelling long forgotten dramas. Old photos were passed round, the sun shone in the Park and the wine flowed for many hours. We beat a hasty retreat when our aging bones started to become stiff after sitting in the long grass for hours and sought the comfort of the local pub and so the conversation continued and even more wine was drunk. I can honestly say I have not laughed and relaxed as much in a long time and whilst I was somewhat delicate the following morning whilst the band played badly and out of tune in my head a walk down by the Thames soon cleared my mind. I have returned home relaxed and with a bounce in my step.
Some people believe that to go back to and revisit your old life albeit briefly is a backwards step and an indication that all is not well in your current life. Others believe you keep in touch with those of importance whilst other people whom you knew go off in different directions and cease to be part of your life on a day-to-day basis. They are resigned to being part of your personal history but no longer an active part in your life. Personally I believe that sometimes good friends fall off the radar through no fault of anybodies but purely because life in your early Twenties, fresh from University is fast-paced and hectic. I think that it is quite healthy to go back sometimes to eat – a little, drink vast quantities and be very merry and remember life before we all grew up, got proper jobs and became adults.
This weekend for a brief period a gaggle of grown-ups got together from the various parts of this Island and once again were carefree students at University in London albeit with a few more wrinkles, hair that was coloured or thinning and with more life experiences which have given us happiness and sadness in various measures. I think this is the beginning of an annual reunion for us all, I certainly hope so and if various husbands/wives/partners and children promise not to interrupt our reminiscing then they may be allowed to join in next year too…….or maybe not.
Much love and thanks to The Gang, I had a blast. x