Back in February 2009, I posted an entry here about Friends Reunited and the large number of people I remember from school who were mentioned on that site. Two years later (!!) I discovered that several people had left comments on this blog entry, including Gill Jowers. Googling Gill revealed a Flickr account which might have been her's, and I noted how nice the photos were.
And a couple of weeks ago, there is another message from Gill commenting on this. How strange to have some sort of conversation with someone I haven't seen in over 30 years at the rate of 1 message per year!
Gill talks about her interest in photography and, after a slightly technical discussion of cameras, notes that her husband thinks she is something of a nerd! I have to admit that back around 1980, I didn't consider Gill a nerd - but when you think about it, she was doing maths and physics A-level with me, so that does show some nerd-like tendencies. No, back then, I always thought of Gill as one of the most gorgeous girls in my year at school, totally un-nerd-like in every way and totally "out of me league", to use a very unattractive phrase. Though I suppose the chances of her accepting if I had asked her out were not strictly-speaking equal to zero, they did seem to me to be asymtotic to zero, as we maths and physics students would say.
But then, what is this? Gill goes on to note her interest in astronomy photography! Did she have this interest in 1980? I could have lent her my collection of astronomy magazines. I could have invited her round to look at the stars through my telescope - yes, I was a proper nerd at 17, I had a telescope! If there is one thing that my 49.205479 years on earth have taught me, it is that one of the best way to a girl's heart is through lending them your astronomy magazines and inviting them round to sit on damp grass and look at stars. I'm now totally sure that would have worked with Gill
Gill goes on to talk about one or two other things I'd mentioned, then finishes by noting how lucky we were to grow up somewhere like Kenilworth. I think that is very true. As my own daughter has grown up, I have often found myself contrasting her life with that of my own. She has also had a very lucky upbringing, but it is only now that she is 23 and is getting on with her own life, that I really appreciated both this and my own time growing up.
I haven't been to Kenilworth for a few years now. Yet a couple of weeks ago I did pass close by on my way home from visiting my mum, who moved away from Kenilworth in 2002 and now lives near Stratford. I was actually quite tempted to have a quick detour to have a look round. Maybe next time.