In a bluebell wood in Herefordshire Nigel and I are facing our fiftieth birthday reunion with university friends, but on Friday night a bunch of Perran and Carenza’s friends were at our house again, beginning the night out which followed their last day at school. Over the years we have reached an accommodation – I have learnt not to body search them for vodka and they have learnt not to flip sharp beer caps onto the wooden floors and grind them in with their heels.
Hopefully there will be more gatherings at our house, but each of them now has a poignant nostalgic feeling, even before they are over. A barometer of this is that I took a couple of photos of the teenagers as they partied and they didn’t ask why – they just posed. They know they will want mementoes.
For my generation, we have had to keep hold of each other by our fingertips, even if we quarrelled, even if we moved to another continent, because once we lost contact, there was no way back. Even a once-a-year Christmas card was a lifeline that we could pick up on one day. For Perran, Carenza and Pascoe however, social media mean that reunions will be infinitely possible. After years of neglect one might opt back in again.
I just hope those reunions happen at our house.
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