Me, Jax, Mandy and Julie holding up the bar!
I went to Ndola Dominican Convent in Zambia, from the age of 10 until 15 years old. I am now 53. About 4 years ago I received an invitation from Vonny, whom I remember, to join the convent Group on Facebook. This has been a complete delight! I remember some of the names in the group she had created. The girls were from 2 years below me, to two years above me. Many posted photos and it was a very busy site for a very long time. Our year particularly reconnected very well.
Although I remember some classmates vividly, others I don’t. Once again there isn’t a discernible pattern to the memory loss, Weird! Lolly is our “memory bank”, as she remembers everyone and everything in great detail! We started school together in 1st Grade at another school, making her my “oldest” friend – yet I don’t remember her at all! We have photos of the two of us together, autographs signed in one another’s’ books, our names on School play programmes, went to dance school together, rode horses together, swam, water-skied, played, partied together; but nothing stirs in my head.
Very weird! It didn’t stop us having a reunion in Cape Town in 2008 though! Sue was there too. We were not best friends, but good friends and I remember her clearly. We met for lunch at a popular restaurant at the Victoria and Albert Waterfront. About 5 o’clock my family arrived to find out if perhaps my cellphone was on the blink, as I hadn’t called them to collect me yet. The girls and I were having a blast! The family sat at the next table and ordered something to eat, while the girls and I carried on catching up. At 8 o’clock we decided to be responsible people and wrap it up. It was marvellous, and so good for my soul! There were similar reunions arranged all over the world, as our girls were everywhere!
An unexpected bonus, was that friendships were made with the friends of our classmates, and then their friends too! That is what happened with Jacky and I. Jacky and Mandy have known one another all their lives, and Julie is a more recent friend – although that’s been a few years too. It was happening to so many of the other girls too. We have ended up with an inter-linked, world-wide circle of very close friends, who chat at least weekly, although many chat daily. Sometimes I have to pause and think about whether they are school friends or friends of friends. It has been so wonderful, especially for me stuck out in the middle of nowhere on the farm!
Jax and I discovered many shared interests, tastes in music, movies, and such things. Our birthdays are 8 days apart. We use the same toothpaste. We love words: poetry, lyrics, quotes and sayings. Singers, songwriters, actors, authors are crossovers too. We laugh and cry at the same things, have favourite things that mirror one another. We love the same food and wine, sweets and savouries. We even sort our clothing the same way! We are sisters from another family, country, continent and hemisphere. But we have become closer than sisters; we are one anothers’ chosen family. We have overlapping friends that enrich and share our lives. We know one anothers pets and their foibles. The pet likes and dislikes and those of the people around us that move us. We know when the doctor is called or it is time for a dental check-up. We have become involved in one anothers’ life and know what is happening on a daily basis.
It finally happened. The Roar Tour – named for the Helen Reddy song: I am Woman, Hear me Roar! We call ourselves Minxes, as all of us have the same silly sense of humour, and get rather risqué at times! We all fell in love with the poem Warning: by Jenny Joseph. It is OUR MOTTO! Grow old disgracefully; wear a red hat, with purple, which doesn’t go; eat what we like and grow fat (we’re doing rather too well there!), and generally act as silly and crazy as we want to so we don’t grow old before we get old!
I spent 9 days with Jax and her family and our shared friends. It was filled with so much laughter, some tears, minor discoveries and so much ease and relaxed sharing. It is amazing how comfortable and sure we are of one another. There has not been a moment of uncomfortable silence or uncertainty, just a sense of being normal and unremarkable and sure of a reaction or feeling or thought. It was the same with Mandy, and the 2 Julies. We had such a ball; we giggled and talked and entertained and ate and drank lots of wine across the Cotswolds, Cardiff, London and Cambridge too.
Bless you Jax, I love and treasure you so much 🙂 xxx@@@xxx