Saturday, October 09, 2010

Our day in Altea

Pam reckons that you get to a stage in your life when you feel the need to renew old acquaintances. Yesterday we had the opportunity to do just that.

Forty four years ago Pam and I started at Alsager College training to be teachers. One of the first people I met there was John WIlde.

John and I had the good fortune to be placed in the same accommodation, an old house that the college had acquired just outside the campus called “the Orchard”. When it came to the second year of our course, John and I elected to share the same digs. In the third year we were together again, back on campus in a newly constructed hall of residence. Then John and I stayed on to take a B.Ed. degree and again shared the same digs.

After we left college, John was chief usher at my wedding and I was best man at his. We kept in touch by letters and Christmas cards, then later by email and newsletters but somehow never managed to meet up.

John’s career started in Grimsby and mine in Liverpool. John moved to a forces school in Gibraltar and then in Belgium. Although, he and his wife Penny often visited England to see their respective families, we never seemed to find a “window of opportunity” to meet.

Now John is retired like us but still works part time for the Norwegian school on the base in Belgium. Last year his school arranged a course at Albir which is not far from Bigastro. Unfortunately, Pam and I were in England at the time so we still could not meet up.

This year, the Norwegians organised their course at L'Alfàs del Pi and so we arranged to go there yesterday. It was amazing how quickly the three of us relaxed into our conversations and how much we could recall of our heady student days.

After our introduction, we went for a coffee near to John’s hotel and then drove to Altea for lunch together. Pam and I haven’t been to Altea and so we were able to combine two wishes on one day.

It was wonderful to see John again. As we parted, we agreed that we must meet again in another forty years. I think it is probably best that we don’t wait that long!

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