Tuesday, 3 October 2017

University Reunion

As we drove up the A1 for the reunion, I said to Nigel,
“I can’t believe that all that time, next to our hall of residence, there was that great big orchard and we never scrumped the apples.”
“I suppose we were too busy with our friends.  Well, the apples should be ripe now.  And there are carrier bags in the boot.”
“We’ll get some after the reunion.”
We had a companionable dinner with old friends.  The next morning we attended chapel and then over breakfast, Rosie suggested we collect the key and climb the stairs to the tower. 

I have thirty-three year old photos of a whole gang of us standing up there in front of the low parapet, arms round each other, our hair blowing in the strong wind. But nowadays only four of us were allowed up at a time and a metal bannister stopped us from accidentally toppling over the edge.



When we looked out over the view, there were more changes.  Beneath us our redbrick college still glowed and its grounds stretched out green.  But beyond, in nearly every direction, new buildings were going up, including a whole new village called Eddington.  I felt like a creature from a bygone era.

Afterwards, amid embraces and farewells, we went back to the car park where there had once been a sheep field, and drove away.

“Darn it,” I said, “I forgot to pick any apples.”
“Well.  Clearly then, some things never change.”

Postscript:
I reconnected with Andrea Skevington who also has a blog. Her amazing poem about spiders has resonated with me in the days since.  You can find it here:


Then

Now - photo by Rosie

Now - Photo by Rosie