Tag Archives: southwold

Friends Re-united

22 Jul

I hated school.

County High School Wellingborough for girls to be precise…2013_05_13_14_50_21

Dickensian, demanding of academic excellence and where the majority of the teachers were bonkers. Really, they were.

I never felt I fitted the bill, always a little out of kilter and so left as soon as I was allowed to – age 15 – to enter the real world, get a job and start living. Little did I know…

But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that, some 49 years down the line, I would still be in touch with my old school chums. Mainly due to the wonders of cyber space plus super-human effort on the part of  the more persistent and communicative amongst us.

From time to time we get together – in the flesh as it were – to compare ailments and discuss medication congratulate each other on maintained beauty/youthfulness and catch up with each other’s lives.

Sometimes it’s just the annual school lunch but once in a while we get a little creative and find a more inspiring venue and this year (not for the first time) it was Southwold. We like it there and one of our member has a caravan by the harbour so that’s very convenient.

And so it was that, on July 15th, a few of us that could escape for a day or two assembled at the lovely sleepy Suffolk coastal village of Southwold – much-loved by us all.

Just a handful of us this time…022

Kay, Jude (all the way from Yonkers in New York don’t you know) Jackie and Jose, with Archie bringing up the right hand side.

A nice number though not quite up to the heady heights of 1996…scan0249

…when it was 30 years since we started at that school. Next year will be 50 years since, so perhaps we should mark that milestone accordingly. Any ideas..?

Once all assembled, hugging over, chatted out and coffee’d up we set out for Walberswick. We hopped through the gap in the hedge from the caravan site and walked along the harbour, where you can check out the boats (if you’re a boatbird) and buy the best fresh fish in the world. Probably.

Over the bridge…001

…with numerous photo stops.

Even one of the boats…002

Just for me.

A tramp across here…008

Taking in this…007

And this…010

Fascinated by the insect with the red spotty wings…009

Anyone know what it is?

Onward through the heath…012

…another photo call.

Looking good girls.

Splendid tree…013

And arrival at the delightful village of Walberswick…015

…where we did lunch at The Bell. And very good it was too – fish all round like you do when at the coast..

We were amused by the numbering system though…017

The waiting staff actually shouted the whole number across the garden… as in “three thousand and forty one…” It made us giggle but you probably had to be there to appreciate this one.

Anyway, why not just say 41?

Then the beach, where one woman and her dog performed for us…020

And boy, can Archie run…021

He likes to chase the gulls – not one he’s ever going to win but very entertaining.

Archie and his human like to pose…023

Just as well really when in such demand…024

I’m not being camera-shy by the way, just that I’ll be in all the shots taken by the others that I haven’t yet seen. Maybe they’ll send them on..?

We head back for the long walk along the estuary and to the bridge. There’s no other way round.

Apart from the ferry…029

…which seemed like a bloody good idea for those with bursting bladders or sore feet or a boatbird – always being up for a boat ride. That’s a plan then.

One lovely, very strong young lady…025

…who took this on from her father, I understand, operating this service from 10 til 5 every day.

Walking ahead, Jose and Kay hadn’t heard our plans or seen us sneak off and were obviously struck by guilt…028

…when they finally noticed we weren’t tagging along and stopped to see where we’d got to, no doubt wondering if we’d got lost/expired along the way.

More giggles.

Back at the caravan for tea, cake and finally fond farewells.

It was a lovely, lovely day. Good to be by the sea and great to see “my gherills” again (spoken in the style of Miss Jean Brodie).

And, as said in my school reports… must do better.

As in don’t leave it so long next time – let’s do it again soon. The more the merrier.

Southwold…..briefly

25 Jul

I escaped to Southwold last week. Lucky me.

I do like it there and, true to form, it didn’t disappoint.

OK, so the weather could have been better but that wasn’t what the day was all about. No, the real reason for the trip was to catch up with some dear old friends: old school chums from the County High School Wellingborough, which we all attended some 40 odd years ago. Not that it seems so long ago…

And yet it was a lifetime.

A select few of us CHSW girlies have stayed in touch, one way or another, throughout the years. Amazing really.

We don’t all get together too often, making it a special treat when we do. A real occasion.

The last one was a real biggie…

There were only half a dozen of us this time but it isn’t eveyone that can get away midweek. Not all of us are retired yet or enjoy such flexible employment that allows us to take off willy nilly and some of us live further away these days. Terry, who sadly couldn’t make it, lives somewhere in the frozen north and Ann, also unable to be there, is about 5 hours drive away (almost in the wilds of Wales). And both have hefty work committments.

Jude (who lives in New York) was over here already so up for this mini re-union and in fact probably what inspired it in the first place.

So here we all are on the pier which, I have to say at this point, has been made no smoking. WHAT? I say to the man that popped up the minute I flipped open the Zippo. Suppose all that fresh air and surrounding sea makes it a real health/fire hazzard….. Beats me.

From left: Jose, Yours Truly, Jude, Soo, Kay and Jackie. And Archie of course, lurking in the foreground. Picture taken by an innocent bystander – came out surprisingly well considering. I was convinced he had snapped at the precise moment a passer-by passed by, obscuring at least one of us. Well done that man!

Aren’t we great?

We are all still those same girls, still looking good and still laughing, despite what life has thrown at us. And it seems we’ve all had our share of ups and downs, as revealed in the non-stop chatter as we caught up.

This is how it was when we weren’t posing for the camera….Natter natter natter….

One has to have fish ‘n’ chips when at the seaside so we walked to the Nelson to do just that…and they were, of course, delicious.

We walked some more (to walk them off) and, having passed several tea rooms on the way to ‘The One’, were a tad disappointed to discover they closed on Wednesdays. Hey ho.

Back to Jo’s caravan then, via the harbour, for liquid refreshment. And more chatting. Great.

I’m not sure the specialness of this occasion will come across here. It’s one of those ‘you had to be there moments’ I suspect – both last week and back in school all those years ago.

One thing’s for sure though; the next one will take some beating. It is to be held in New York in 2015, on Jude’s suggestion – the year that most of us will mark our next big, very scary birthday. And what a way to celebrate!!

Jude is going to book us all into rooms, where she may also stay, and be able to show us the Big Apple where she’s lived for years. Thanks for that Jude old buddy.

Better start saving….

Can’t wait.