Skip to main content

Remembrance of Times Past - Birthday Girl Memories

Another non-gardening post - but I have a good excuse ...

Today I am the Birthday Girl - I won't tell you how old I am - it is a lady's prerogative, only to say that the Beatles once wrote a song about it.

Imagine my surprise when a birthday card plopped through the letter box with a Vietnam postmark

It is from my oldest friend J who is visiting her son who works over there.  I have known J since we were in the same class at school together.
J - top left / me bottom right
It seems like we have known each other for ever.

School trip to the Trossachs
Scotland 1963 - just look at those short shorts (or lack of them)
After we left school we went to different secretarial colleges but after the two years were up found ourselves in our first jobs working in the same typing pool
Lunch break
Lee Circle, Leicester
We went on holidays in the UK together with our work friends
and holidays abroad
La Palmera
We drank a lot, smoked a lot, got drunk and had lots of laughs.  That is what I remember most - having fun and laughing - all the time.

We loved to dance and party; dancing was our main weekend occupation - hours spent with rollers in our hair and  putting on the 'slap' prior to going out.  We were what the modern press calls 'party animals'.  Hitching rides and gatecrashing parties was the norm - word soon got round as to where the action was.
Me aged 19 - heavens I look so young!
Sadly, all good things come to an end and the inevitable happened, we both met our future partners and got married and went our separate ways.

J went to live abroad - I stayed put,  and over the years we lost touch.  It happens.  But then a couple of years ago, on the off-chance, I decided to write to an old address I had of J's in the slim hope that maybe she would still be there.  I couldn't have got the timing better - she had just returned to England from living in Spain and had moved back in to their old house.

 We started emailing, catching up on all the news over a span of 40 years - a couple of Christmasses ago she came to see me on her way through to somewhere else.  It was strange seeing the face that was so familiar and dear to me all those years ago, different but still the same.  We didn't have too much time to catch up, and maybe one day in the not too distant future we will meet up again - J and her husband  live down south, and are in and out of the country all the time visiting their children - so it won't be easy.

  Over the years our lives have taken different directions - a case of Town Mouse versus Country Mouse.

  Meanwhile we swap Christmas and birthday cards and chat on the computer. 

In this case Auld Acquaintance wasn't forgotten and still having J as a friend after all this time is definitey a bonus birthday present.

(Sorry for the quality of the photos - I don't have a scanner and had to take a photo of a photo - if only we had had digital cameras in those days).


  1. Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic - and heartwarming. (And, happy birthday!)

  2. This is a lovely story - Happy Birthday, Elaine! Catching up with old friends is a real pleasure in life - and even though you live miles away from each other, you share those memories.

  3. lovely pictures and memories Elaine sadly FB gave your age away, all the best for today, David

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Have a wonderful day Elaine.

  6. Happy Birthday. And how lovely to have such an 'old' friend :-)

  7. Happy Birthday - it is always great to catch up with old friends.

  8. Hope you have a wonderful birthday and just remember its only a number! Wonderful memories for you and how lovely you are back in touch.

  9. I hope that you had a lovely day yesterday.
    I enjoyed this memory lane post, and it's good to see when people reconnect with long lost friends again.
    Flighty xx

  10. Happy (belated) birthday! You both look very glamorous and good company in those photos, how lovely to have caught up with one another again.

  11. What a wonderful retrospective :)

    Happy belated birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Happy birthday, I hope it was a good one!

    What wonderful pics, they tell such a story and jump out at you. It's lovely to think you got together after losing touch, and now technology makes it possible to stay in touch in between visits.
    I really enjoyed this....lovely post.xxxxx

  13. I have found that my own memories are starting to get little pockmarks in them, as if they will disappear entirely when the photograph finally disintegrates--but I will have a good few orange and smeary decades before then.

  14. Happy Birthday, Elaine. I've recently caught up with someone I haven't seen for many years too. It has been very special - though we haven't such a great catalogue of photos. Dave

  15. O, I am late but I still wish you a Happy Birthday. Great when you see that an old friend has not forgotten your birthday. Enjoyed reading your old memories with the pictures.

  16. A similar thing happened to me. When we left colleges/universities my school friend went to live in S Africa. WE kept in touch for a while through letters and gradually things just dropped off and we lost touch. Then last year an unexpected email arrived. My friend had googled me and found my websites and blogs where my email address was published and so got in touch. We now email one another at least once a week - it's like having a conversation as it's more immediate than letter writing and you can just send a couple of sentences rather than have to think of lots to write. Maybe if we had email back then we wouldn't have lost touch!

  17. A very belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I love your post and the photos! x

  18. Well, I missed your birthday on its official date, but have enjoyed your non-gardening post immensely! It's amazing that you had all these photos from your time with J and how you grew up together.

  19. A belated happy birthday! What a wonderful post ~ really enjoyed seeing the photos and reading about your friendship. Brought back some memories to me too of those 'younger' days!

  20. Another belated Happy Birthday, I hope you had a great day. What a lovely post, some great photos and its good to stir your memories up every now and then. A lovely friendship and so glad that it has been rekindled.

  21. Happy belated birthday! What a touching story! It is quite amazing to have a friendship and a close connection that has spanned both a separation and many years.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the rise of the apple and the fall of the oak ...

Early morning.  We drove down to the lake for a stroll in the autumn sunshine; the air was chilled in the shadows but the sun was bright.  The water level was still very low; we have had hardly any rain for weeks.  On the spit of land a gaggle of Canada geese preening and resting.  The water still and calm.

 We walked further along the lane, and there just around the bend, my favourite oak tree; a lopsided old thing with winky-wonky branches.  But all was not well.  The trunk had split and there was a gut-wrenching open wound.
I loved that old tree and always take a photograph of it when we are down there; a kind of tradition.

Now, half the tree lying on the ground - only fit for firewood - such a shame - I felt really sad.

Spent the morning pruning the Amelanchier which had outgrown its space.  My neighbour came round with foxglove self-seeders which I planted beneath it now that there is some room.  I have finally come to the end of the garden restoration project -…

Down to Earth ...

A nothing much happened kind of week.  Mostly it rained and rained and rained.  The sun burst through for short periods then hid behind the clouds and it rained again.  The garden is flattened and battered and a soggy mess.  We have had the heating on it has been so chilly - even my pet sheep had their hats and scarves on.

On Monday electricians came and fitted an earthing device.  On Tuesday a different electrician came and earthed us (our earthing spike had deteriorated - whatever that is) - apparently new regs said it had to be done before the house could be signed off as completed.  The electrician also fitted the new ceiling lights to replace the water damaged ones.

And a new desk has been installed to replace the water damaged one.

Next week all the carpets are going to be fitted and voila - we're done.  Hurrah!

Meanwhile back at the ranch - every time the sun came out I rushed into the garden to take some pics of the least damaged flowers.

The view from the kitchen window

the sweet calm sunshine of September ...

" It was a morning of ground mist, yellow sunshine, and high rifts of blue, white-cloud-dappled sky.  The leaves were still thick on the trees, but de-spangled gossamer threads hung on the bushes and the shrill little cries of unrest of the swallows skimming the green open spaces of the park told of  autumn and change." ~ Flora Thompson

September has been a very productive month for me. I have worked hard in the garden with a feeling of racing against time; although, in truth, there is plenty of time to do everything - I just wanted to get it done while the weather was good, so much more pleasant working outside when it is a little warmer, rather than having to wrap up in coats and boots to get it all done.  I have planted every last bulb that I possess; those I saved from last year; those I bought this year; every piece of ground and every container has been put to use - if I don't get a good display in spring then something has gone seriously wrong.

Gardening fo…