We met up, those who were able, 37 years after graduating from Newcastle University. We were the Plant Science team from 1977. As an older person, 1977 does seem like yesterday. I now get people on courses who weren’t born when I had my first management development course in 1982. Some of them were born in the 1990’s…I know – it is wrong to let them out on their own so young!
Back to it. Languid summer day. Malvern and The Malverns looked great from Chris & Helen’s richly stocked garden (which also contained a newt or two in the greenhouse – luckily we had enough animal expertise to recognise they were not lizards…).
People were arriving slowly and surely. Sue was already there having arrived the night before with her husband Peter. They now live in the South of France. I did recognise her after 27 years, but she only after a second glance!
What was lovely? Just chatting as if we had managed a reunion annually. Small talk and big talk (we got a bit scientific- when we were at college, The Greenhouse Effect was just being talked about seriously. And global CO 2 levels were about 270 ppm. They are now 400ppm). We did this so long ago that it wasn’t even called Global Warming! Chris and Helen – hosts and pullers together of we disparate troops, did a sterling job. Chris can still talk for England, and doesn’t appear to take breath. Helen is an extraordinary seamstress, and calm cook (salmon en croute for the main meal in the evening – and 5 ‘choices’ of pudding. Yes, you were allowed more than one!) Steve arrived in his VW camper van, and was resplendently garrulous as ever. Phill managed to regale us with school stories that made your hair stand on end and blood boil.
Paul arrived the next day. And we went for walks and talks and more food and more pudding (but less drink on Sunday because we were a bit full still from the night before (Armagnac and some strange green stuff from holiday and much beer and wine…)
And we toasted ourselves and absent friends…
It was special. It still feels special to have been to Uni (I wouldn’t go now, as a working class kid I couldn’t stomach the debt). It feels even more special to still know this group of thrust together strangers who are still now great friends.