I’ve been thinking about myself (yes I know, no need to say anything about that At All, darlings) because Dave mentioned his membership (if that’s the word) of Friends Reunited. I remember my decision not to join Friends Reunited. The idea, it seemed, was to contact people you had been at school, university or your earlier working life with and had lost touch. My reaction was, you’ve lost touch for a reason, right? If you cared that much, you’d have stayed in contact.
In fact, some years ago we visited an elderly cousin of the Sage’s, and as a result we discovered that his daughter was a neighbour of a friend of mine from teenage days. Pleased as I was to find this out, it was not quite enough for either of us to make contact with each other – and, I’m sorry to say, she died three or four years ago as it happens, so it isn’t going to happen in future either.
I lived in Lowestoft after leaving school and have lived here, with the same surname, for 25 years (it was the anniversary of moving here on Saturday, as it happens). I occasionally meet (bump into, not meet by arrangement) people I knew from schooldays, and one of them told me, a while back, that her mother is still a good friend of two of our teachers, who now are in their early eighties. Which was quite interesting, actually, I might not mind meeting them again (and, funnily enough, I did keep in touch with several teachers after I left school, and wrote regularly to one until his death). But I have never been sufficiently engaged to make contact with anyone whom I’ve lost touch with. Indeed, I do not put my school into Facebook or Google+ – if there’s anyone who really wants to find me, they can by name. Not because we passed uncaringly by forty years ago.
This is not because I’m so very unfriendly, or I don’t think so. I am not friendly like my sister, who does keep friends from way back, including school friends and people she worked with several decades ago. And I wonder if that’s partly because she doesn’t have children – friends are all the closer to her – although I don’t think I’d be different whether I had a family or not. Anyway, whatever the reasons, I was rather horrified by the prospect of people I hadn’t seen for forty years getting in touch. Apart from anything else, I might not remember them. I’ve worked on my memory for faces and names very hard over the years, but back in my youth it was awful. Embarrassingly bad, in fact.
There is better news from the hospital, by the way, where our school staff member was taken after her subarachnoid haemorrhage. She has been out of bed, walking slowly around the room. She still has a headache and is dreadfully tired, but this is really good to hear.