Sunday, September 12, 2010

A happy day... St Philomena's School, where I joined lots of others for an Old Girls' Reunion. Several of our year group - we left school 40 years ago this year! - met for lunch beforehand. It was a wonderful, talkative, affectionate gathering, full of laughter and lots and lots of "do-you-remember?" and "what about that time when..."

We were happy at St Phillies. It was (and is) a good school, and we knew it when we were there. A strong message about service and putting other people's needs first, and all that sort of thing...perhaps a rather sheltered environment, but it formed a framework for life, and gave you confidence...a sense that things could be achieved, that wrongs could and should be righted.

A lot of our laughter over lunch concerned school food: easy to gloat over its nastiness when we were enjoying a delicious Italian meal, but the school lunches (provided by the local authority, not the school) really did contain some horrors: "flat meat", of indeterminate grey, revolting liver with elastic tubes in the middle, slimy tapioca pudding with sinister lumps.

Oh, I did enjoy reminiscing...there were some things I remembered quite well, like Bernie eating that daffodil bulb for a dare, and having to be rushed to hospital...but there were others I'd forgotten, like Mary D. breaking her teeth running into one of those great pots of flowers that stood in the Quad. And some things I hadn't known at all: Lizzy D. showed me where she and Monica B. had discovered how to work the laundry shaft and had glorious rides, and I'm rather sorry to have missed out on that.

Only a Philomenian will understand when I add that Spartans and Athenians united for the lunch. Oh, and that Margaret Clitheroe has gone, and there's a v. grand impressive new Hall there now, where we had tea.

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