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Wednesday evening, my sister phoned. She'd been at my niece's dance show, and had bumped into someone I went to secondary school with, and who recognised my sister immediately. (My sister didn't recognise her, which lead to an interesting exchange.)

The upshot of the conversation and the reason for the phonecall was simple - Sophie (the old school friend in question) was organising a school reunion and hadn't been able to get in touch with me - could Nicola (the sister) pass on contact details to me?

She did, and I got in touch with Sophie - unfortunately it was with my apologies as there was no way I could get up to Telford on Friday, but to make contact more than anything else. As Nicola wasn't certain she'd written Sophie's email address down, I Googled for it and the world being what it is today, the second or third result was the Facebook event for the reunion.

My friends list on Facebook is slowly being populated with people I haven't seen for 24 years as we speak.

Its weird. These aren't people I've kept in touch with (more to do with my crapness about contact than about any desire for distance) but I'm now getting to see their virtual ghosts unfold as the venn diagrams of their lives and mine start to overlap.

There were photos taken of the reunion - a group of 40 year olds in a bar, dancing, talking, drinking, hugging. Some of them have obviously kept in touch over the last 24 years. Others have been tracked down in the last few weeks or months. Many of them have never moved away from Telford, or if they have, they've moved back.

The funny thing for me has been trying to peel back the years and see the child I knew in the adult represented on screen. Some I recognised immediately and can name - their faces matured but not really changed over time. Some I don't remember - especially the women where I don't have a clue today as to what their surname was back then. Some I recognise, their names on the tip of my forgetful tongue.

And some I remember but only recognise through the tags that someone else has added to the facebook photos. John Smith, in particular. Biffo was either an hour older than me or an hour younger - I can't remember now. But we shared a birthday, and were among the oldest in our class throughout our school years.

Biffo was one of the tallest in our class, I was always one of the shortest. I had mouse-brown hair, whereas his was so white that he was sometimes accused of being albino. We were both bright, both a bit geeky (not that we'd have used that term then) - we sat at the front of the bus rather than the back though. With Nic Hawkins, Andrew DeBanks, Jonathan Barnicott we got the same bus to school together, the same bus home.

We met in the first year of infants school, September 1974, and I last saw him in June 1986 on the day we went into school to pick up 'O' Level results. I pretty much saw him every day for the best part of 12 years, and yet when I look at the photos of him from Friday, I see absolutely no trace of the boy I knew.

I wonder what he thinks of the photos of me?

Armadillo!

Jun. 2nd, 2008 12:26 pm
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Armadillo
Originally uploaded by wildpark
A fun sunday, in three parts.

The first, at early o'clock, involved going climbing with the usual suspects. Mile End Climbing Centre is pretty empty on a Sunday morning, and clear walls and a clear head allowed us all to feel that we were progressing.

From there, I went to the Natural History Museum to mean up with [livejournal.com profile] sixtine, [livejournal.com profile] bellagrim and Joshua and Mia, who are not, as far as I am aware, on LJ. Fun to spend time with people I don't see often enough, and great to wonder about the museum, which is where the photo of this armadillo came from - it's not actually a hamster in barding, no matter how much it might look like one. We also went around the butterfly exhibition there which did that rare thing; it made me want a better camera, and to be a better photographer. [livejournal.com profile] maleghast, I think you should head along there at some point. There are some butterfly photos on my Flickr account, which you should be able to see by clicking on the armadillo.

Then on to the Coal Hole on the Strand to meet up with the inestimable [livejournal.com profile] mr_flay for beer and conversation, as is our usual wont. (Rather than gunpowder and falling over, which was our last encounter.

Fun day (and yes, this entry is largely an excuse to post a photo of a hairy armadillo, and to use the phrase 'hamster in barding'.)
jfs: (Default)
But I've just added some of the photos I took of John and Anita's wedding to Flickr.
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As part of our drive to tidy the flat, I found some old disposable cameras sitting in a drawer. Taking them to Jessops revealed some old gems - photos I'd forgotten taking.

I've put some of my favourites up on Flickr (account name is wildpark, unsurprisingly) but there's a couple I'd like to share ...

Photos behind the cut )
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The BBC have a section on their website called Your Perspective on the World - send them a photo that's been taken this week and they might feature it.

But there's one there that just made me laugh out loud in the office ....

Building the suspense )
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] furzepig for the link.
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As most of you know, friends of mine got married in Venice during Carnevale ... since then, given that everyone made such an effort about dressing up, one of the games has been to spot members of the party in other people's photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/97586583@N00/104776777/in/set-72057594068240877/ is the first one I've found - congrats [livejournal.com profile] velvet_the_cat!
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the sky's on fire

It's [livejournal.com profile] ephraim's fault. He's the one that mentioned Flickr. So, if I've got the HTML correct, then you should be able to click on the above picture to see the other 16.

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