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Drawn in 1988 by one of my best friends at boarding school, Nicole. I’m not sure many of my characteristics have changed much. Short skirt? Check. Head permanently in a book? Check. Long hair? Check. Specs? Check. Gormless expression? Check.

And you can see for yourself because here are Nic, Esther & me today, twenty or so years later:

High School reunion

Last night Nic, Esther & I met up together for the first time since 1989. (I changed schools half way through high school). And amazingly we all look exactly the same! Well, we think we do, and that is what matters. (Although I was completely thrown by Nic’s hair, as her hair was amazingly curly at school and now both she and Esther are super chic and glamorous GHD girls.)

We’ve all got great careers – at one point Esther was managing twenty-one supermarkets in her region, and now helps run a flourishing financial business with her brother & husband, and Nicole is a chemical engineer with responsibilities that would scare the living daylights out of me. The girls are both married with beautiful children – that’s Nic’s utterly lovely Amy above, and Esther is about to adopt a child to add to her family.

All three of us struggled at times at that school.  Starting boarding in your early teens is tricky, and we were all bullied at different points by girls in our year and, especially, by the girls in the year above . Yes, Hannah, Annabel, Carolyn, Karen, & Amber, you were unpleasant, craven f**king bitches, with absolutely nothing about which to be superior. Of course the irony of the bullying was that there was never any need for them to try to put me down in the place they thought I deserved. I never thought I belonged anywhere else but down there.

So, it was immensely cathartic  – and very, very funny – talking about it together last night, even after all this time, and understanding what we all went through, but that we all came through successfully on the other side.

I’m so very, very proud of us all for both staying the same and realising our potential. It honestly felt like no time had passed – still, the lovely, kind, funny girls I knew when I was fourteen or so. We plonked ourselves on a table at Shoreditch House last night and, when we first thought to check our watches, it was nearly 1am, and we still had plenty left to say when we all met up again at Spitalfield’s The Breakfast Club at 9am today to meet Nicole’s family who are down from Scotland for a spot of sightseeing.

Here’s to the next twenty years or so. (Although we are planning on another reunion a little sooner, now we are back in the groove.)

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14 comments

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Sounds lovely. And good on you for naming those b*tches. Like you, I’m glad things worked out, but at a cost…. Funny btw, was at Shoreditch House last night as well but in different part of it.

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Oh, what a lovely-sounding reunion – nothing better than old friends. Glad it was cathartic and fuel for laughter.

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@karen: Oh it was, it was! They are amazing women. LLGxx

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It was lovely to see you and Esther too honey. You are just the same and just as hyper and interesting. So happy to have seen you both xxx

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What a lovely poignant post, LLG. I felt such a shudder of memory when you wrote,

“Of course the irony of the bullying was that there was never any need for them to try to put me down in the place they thought I deserved. I never thought I belonged anywhere else but down there.”

It reminded me of when I was bullied for a time when I moved from Africa to Sydney, Australia and I had a moment of “Really? My life is shit enough at the moment without you piling on as well”.

I’ve really enjoyed your last few posts, they’re full of the life and verve that drew me into your blog from the early days. It must be all that new and improved life/balance!

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@Sara: Thank you Sara – I’m not always in the right place to write more personal stuff, but feel like I am on a roll at the moment. LLGxx

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@LLG
Of course. And it is the mix of the personal and the professional that makes your writing much more attractive than the constant confessional style blogs which flood the internet. The Waffle is probably one of the few that are able to keep it interesting.

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Oh lovely! I utterly will never ever go to a school reunion — too far away anyway & nothing in common with most of my school mates — but mostly because of the bullying. I’m so pleased you named your bullies for what they were!

And remember, the best revenge is living well. You are all fabulous.

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Oh and PS, yes I was bullied for being English in Australia. Apparently, the way I spoke (just standard RP) signified that “You think you’re worth something.” A terrible sin in Australia, to have self-worth. It is not the unrelievedly pleasant country of the tourist adverts.

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@Redbookish: Oh GOD that’s what happened to me too. Mercilessly bullied for my ‘posh’ voice – like you, just standard RP. Ultimate irony is that I now do TV & radio. He who laughs first etc etc…LLGxx

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@Redbookish: Hah! Me too! When I moved to Australia from the Sudan, I was constantly asked “Why do you talk like a book?”. “Um, because I’ve read one?”.

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God, I didn’t even move country and I was mocked for my voice – moving to Hampshire from London, everyone at Cubs called me “How Now Brown Cow”. Rather imaginative for 10-year-olds but really rotten all the same!

(village too small to have Brownies)

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” Of course the irony of the bullying was that there was never any need for them to try to put me down in the place they thought I deserved. I never thought I belonged anywhere else but down there.”

I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks, and I had a feeling you were a lovely person, the above comment bought a tear to my eye, and confirmed my thoughts, you really are a breath of fresh air, love your blogs, so glad I stumbled upon (well followed a link) to you!

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