Old school friends

Last night my friend John phoned from where he lives in Wales to ask what food we both liked. Then I realised that where food is concerned I’m a right awkward sod.
Although everyone is usually polite about that. We are going to stay with John and Shirley in Wales this Saturday until we return to France next Wednesday.

We had a fairly early start this morning, as we were due to meet my old school friend over in Hinckley at 10am – that’s an early start when you have a baby. Anne is a friend from when I was in infant school 30 years ago and one of the few people I remember well from back then. I was only about 6 or 7 years old at the time, and we’d left Hinckley to go and live in Leicester by 1978 (can’t remember the exact date).

She got in touch with me completely by chance a few weeks ago via the famous site Friends Reunited and straight away I could recall that she used to come round to my house when we were kids. This morning it was great to chat with her about memories from back then which have remained in my mind as hazy memories. I think she helped me to remember a lot more, especially as she continued to live in Hinckley whereas I “disappeared” when I was 7.

Sadly we moved out of necessity – rather than luxury. My parents lost their house over there and my Mum started with the beginning of the illness she has now had since the early 80’s. All I can remember was that I didn’t want to move – and was upset about leaving Hinckley and of course my school friends including Anne. After that move we lived with my Grandparents which entailed two changes of school within a year – it was a major upheaval for me then.

Today I am glad I met Anne and her cute daughter, Cecilia, and hope that we’ll stay in touch from now on. That’s one of the advantages of the internet.

On the way back we came back through Hollycroft, past my old school at Tudor Road and then stopped in front of my old house at 46 Netherley Road, where I took a photo.

Not a lot had changed since the last time I visited the area 11 years ago – but I felt emotional thinking of my childhood and what seemed to be happier times. Maybe the 1970’s give you that warm glow, Anne and I became friends during Summer 1976 – the year of the great drought. I also remember the standpipes…

We had enough time to have lunch when we arrived back at my Mum’s in Leicester, although Rémy had missed his habitual morning nap. He and Isa had a little sleep anyway – but I think that Rémy was messed up with a change to his routine – and we’re trying to get used to the fact that he has, for the moment, fixed times for his naps.

In the afternoon we went round to see Wendy, the only person from college/school here in Leicester who stays in touch with us. As is the usual thing, when I moved away to France the majority of my friends stopped staying in touch. But Wendy would write the odd letter to keep me updated with things “back home” – she even knitted us a lovely jumper for Rémy which she posted to us (he was wearing it today). We spent the afternoon with her and her two sons Alistair and Peter – and realised that one day Rémy will also be a boisterous and curious little lad like them. It was, as always, lovely to see Wendy again – she has always been so thoughtful understanding where I am concerned and I really apreciate that.

No call has been received from the buyer of my old Mac PC recently sold on Ebay. Tomorrow will be the last day that I am here – after that they’ll have to pick it up and my Mum will have to send me the money on. I’m beginning to think this buyer thought I’d post it to them – which would surely mean it would get damaged in the post. We’ll have to see what happens.

This evening I think we’ll take a rest – before our last day in Leicester tomorrow. We plan to see Martin and his partner Yvonne tomorrow. He is a fellow bus enthusiast – who became a father for the second time just 3 or 4 days before Rémy was born. We’ll then have that headache of having to pack the car again… never something we look forward to doing…

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