In which there is a lot of packing, and also a birdnest


I’ve spent the last week running around like a headless chicken, trying to sort out things before I go on holiday for the next two weeks.  It’s inevitable that issues always, always pop up at work in the days before you head off for a while, and the stress involved in sorting them out, plus getting everything else ready, sometimes makes it feel as if it’s not worth going on holiday.   But I know as soon as I am on that plane, I will no longer care about projects, or schools, or anything except where the next bowl of noodles is coming from.

So my weekend was spent in Southsea with my family and the most delicious red velvet cupcakes (they turned out really well), before coming back to work for three and a half days, working hard to get this @~*&%$” project back on track before I abandon it again as well as sorting out laundry, packing and trying to find my sunglasses.  Friday afternoon will  then see me on the train back to Southsea again as I’m heading to my parents’ en route to Heathrow.

But before I head off to tropical beaches, I have one more issue to face: my ten year school reunion.

I wrote a few months ago that I was unsure if I would be attending; after vacillating for six months I did eventually say yes, but not without some misgivings.  For one thing, I’m going back with braces on; it’ll seem like I’ve had them on non-stop for the past ten years.  Call me vain – seriously, feel free – but I’m not overjoyed to be going back through the school gates in the same state I left them in a decade ago.   It could also be the most awkward thing ever, a group of us who, for the most part, haven’t been in contact for years and years, suddenly thrown together over a plate of pasta and a bottle of wine, and expected to talk to each other.  Hell, I didn’t talk to some of them during my 5 years at the school, and I’m not sure that anything will have changed in the interim.

Still, I’ve got my outfit planned; again, a sign of vanity, but I want to make sure I’m looking my absolute best.  I’ve also got an escape route mapped out if it’s too awful so I can run away straight after lunch if I need to.

But who knows, it may – despite my being orthodontically changed – turn out to be a really nice thing to catch up with people, a pleasant afternoon that I will consider repeating in another ten years.  On the other hand, it could be hell on earth, in which case I will know never to be so foolish as to ever consider it again.  So either way, I will get something from the experience, and it will definitely provide me with plenty of gossip to transport to my friend  – another alumnus – who I’m meeting up with in Thailand.

At least I’m leaving on a high, as last night in trapeze I conquered a move that has been eluding me – mostly due to fear – for the past year or so.  It’s called birdsnest in the ropes, and consists of standing on the bar, flipping over backwards and ending up with your feet wrapped around the ropes and your back arched out.  My main issue was with taking my feet off the bar, as I never trusted my arm strength to hold me up.  But I finally, finally managed last night to overcome my wussiness and do it.  It was a proud moment.  My teacher even suggested champagne.


2 responses »

  1. Wishing you a fantastical holiday, Helen! Also, good for you on going to the reunion – I hope you enjoy that too and I look forward to hearing about both.

    I completely understand your vacillation. I’m facing my 20 year reunion this summer and, having successfully remained out of reach of the alumni association for the 10th, I’m kind of hoping they don’t track me down this time either. Not sure why – it’s not like I had a bad time in school (although I was ever so slightly – or maybe vastly – uncool). I certainly don’t have any reason to be embarrassed of what I’ve achieved or who I am. It’s just that I’ve moved on, I guess, and I don’t feel a great need to go make awkward small talk with those I haven’t cared enough to reach out to and vice versa in two decades.

    What is astonishing to me is I’ve now lived more of my life after school than I did by the time I finished it… and it really seems like not so long ago. (Wistful sigh for my lost youth.)

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