Thursday, 13 June 2013

If I could turn back time… I probably wouldn't

I went to a work reunion this evening in Putney with colleagues I knew more than 12 years ago. It was a workplace where I genuinely knew other people's business and even though it was a large charity based on two separate sites I knew people in every department by the time I left. Part of this is because of my natural nosiness and part of it is because I was there at a significant time in my life.

    London Eye and rainbow balloon
  • Shortly after I joined VSO I got married to my first husband. 
  • Not long after that I left my first husband. 
  • I moved back in with my parents, lost weight and cut my hair short - first the "Rachel" then proper short.
  • Celebrated my 30th birthday on the London Eye with some of my colleagues invited. 
  • My doomed infatuation with "Sid" who worked on the floor below and cycled to work - what was it about men from the North East with long dark hair ? 
In fact we were both fresh from bad break ups - he'd just separated from 'Mandy' and she took the kettle. I'd left and taken the iron even though I don't actually do ironing.

Maybe it's because I had so much turmoil in my personal life that I knew so much about my colleagues' lives ? Here's a representative sample: 

  • The lovely lady with two young sons whose husband walked out leaving her and the boys.
  • The soft spoken woman who had a bleed on the brain
  • The man whose ambition was to drive Route 66, but had to pass his driving test first 
This morning I panicked when I realised that my hair really desperately needed a wash and I couldn't do it today. What if "Sid" was there ? I had no expectation that he would be or that he'd even know who I was any more. More to the point I am happily married so it really wouldn't matter. He wasn't there.

I left early as I'd spoken to the friend I wanted to see the most, but also because I kept having flashbacks. Evenings spent drinking wine and eating crisps in the Coat and Badge pub until very late. Sitting in dark corners wondering if "Sid" and I would ever progress from pub talk to dinner (we did) from dinner to dating (we didn't).

Still nostalgia is nice isn't it ?  


  1. I keep in touch with, and occasionally have lunch with former colleagues (it's seven years since I took early retirement from the University where I worked) but I'm not sure if I could manage a full-blown reunion. But you're right, nostalgia is nice, even though others will tell you it's not what it used to be. Boom boom!

  2. I couldn't bear more than an hour or so with a lot of people I didn't actually know. I only went to see about three or four people and saw some I wasn't expecting to remember me.

    In fact I do stay in touch with old colleagues from a range of places I've worked, but I tend to avoid reunions as a rule.

    very good btw :o)