.. it’s been a weekend of revisiting for me, which has been quite interesting! It started on Friday when – with a day off from work in the bag – I headed off to Castleton in Dirtyshire to meet Phillip for his birthday celebrations. Upon arriving it became apparent that the mobile number I had for him wasn’t up to date, so I had to revert to simple use of logic, trying the nearest pub to the postcode he’d given me – and sure enough, there he was!
Also there were Penny (Phil’s mum), Steve (her fiance), Rachel (sister) and Jon (her fiance), now Jon aside, it was a bit surreal as wind back the clock 10 years and you’d be highly likely to find us all the same proximity, yet in different locations and circumstances. But it’s reassuring how little people change over the years, and as the beers started flowing so did a few memories that had been cast into the mental flotsam and jetsam…
A few beers later, and a curry and it was out into the wilds of Castleton, without Phil who opted for a powernap instead. The earlier beers soon took their toll on me, and with a substantial layer of curry on top I opted for sensibleness and switching to coke. In between this a terrifying local fancy dress party was in full swing – and whilst I’m aware I’m getting older, if all the patrons of that particular pub were over 18 then I’ll be the next pope!
After a few local hostelries we caught up with Phil and eventually returned to Penny and Steve’s cottage, and eventually retired – waking up on a settee at Phil’s mams house, even after all these years, didn’t feel all that strange if it comes to it! After a decent breakfast it was time for Phil and I to head back to Nottingham, for part two of the weekend of regressive therapy.
Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, Ray and Che had organised a first attempt at a reunion in ‘The Arrow’ – a distinctly average pub that retains a soft spot for most of us as much of our formative years were spent there! Upon arriving on saturday evening, it wasn’t a massive turn out – but it was great to catch up with people who for reasons of geography, laziness and pure chance that you don’t stay in touch with as often as you should.
It’s fair to say that most of us have changed very little – some folks alarmingly have aged very little, but in mentality too people were exactly as I remembered them, so it was great fun reminiscing and making up ridiculous stories about some of the folks who couldn’t make it (well, mainly Jez). Also a top effort by Steve who drove all the way from Chester (and then back again that night), just for about an hour and a pint! It was also good to catch up with a couple of non-Facebookites who were in the Arrow anyway.
After the Arrow booted out an intrepid band of six of us tried to get a taxi into town, with little luck – until we wandered up Vale Road and eventually managed to bribe a black cab into allowing six of us inside (thanks to the smooth talking of Che and Ray), and we duly headed to the Casino, where more drinks were available, and generally the group of us all came out winning too, except for me, of course! Ah well.
And what night in Nottingham, particularly for those of the group who’d been away for a while, would be complete without a visit to Victoria Kebab? So that’s where the journey ended – a top night, and hopefully the first of a few more gatherings like that – as it was great fun. Of course, as I was about to get into the taxi on the way home, I realised my camera was still sitting unused in my pocket… d’oh!