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:
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.)