Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Reunited we fall

For some reason I have failed to grasp, the Old Bat seems to be keen on a forthcoming reunion.  A school at which she worked as an assistant librarian for several years will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015.  By my calculation, that is at least 18 months away and I rather suspect that the actual date is in September so we are, in reality, looking two years into the future.  So, the folks at the school are trying to make contact with as many past students and staff as possible to learn what the alumni have achieved.  To this end, a cream tea is to be held in September this year.  It is word of that get-together that the Old Bat has been spreading assiduously.

All three of my children were students at the school.  I'm not sure if the Old Bat has mentioned this matter to my daughter (who lives way up north from us in Sutton Coldfield) but the reaction of my two sons was rather, "So what?"  They are obviously chips off the old block, by which I mean the Old Bloke, ie me.

There is, I believe, an understanding - or perhaps I should call it a misunderstanding - prevalent among foreigners (sorry, that sounds almost rude and a touch xenophobic but I mean people who are not English) that Englishmen have a fondness for their old schools; the old school tie and all that.  A form of nepotism whereby any applicant for a position who attended the same school as the person responsible for making the appointment, automatically stands a much better chance than other applicants.  That really is something of an urban myth, certainly among the lower classes.  Perhaps there is a smidgeon of truth in it if we are referring to the middle or upper classes who can afford to send their sons and daughters to posh public schools like Eton or Harrow, Oundle or Shrewsbury.  Frankly, most of the people I know couldn't care less about their old schools - or their one-time fellow pupils in general.  Many are, I suspect, rather like me and have pretty well lost touch with all ex-fellow pupils by the time they are 30 or so.

I don't do reunions, can't stand them.  I have only ever been to two.  The first was a reunion of my old Scout troop.  I can't remember why the reunion was held, but I decided to drag myself the 65 miles it took to attend only to find there was nobody else there who had been a member of the troop at the same time as me.  I knew nobody and nobody knew me.

The second such gathering was a little better, mainly because I had left that group not so very long before and still knew quite a lot of people who were there.  Not that I found it very rivetting all the same.

I think perhaps if the other four men who were part of the "gang of five" - not really a gang but just five of us who were at school together and did things together - were to get back in touch I might find that we would relive some of the more hilarious escapades of our youth and have a thoroughly good time.  But otherwise, count me out.  Reunions and me don't mix.


I took a walk along the Waterhall valley yesterday, hoping that the lilies I had seen last week in the dewpond would be in bloom and worth photographing.  They weren't - worth photographing, that is.   All the same, I did take a picture.  The two lads were having a great time with their dog.

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