Monday, March 17, 2008

Laying the Ghost

Now, this is the title of the latest book by my friend Judy Astley, and very good it is too. It is also a very good title for this post, because the book deals with finding - or being found by - people from your past. Which is what has just happened to me, and I'm stunned!

Once upon a time, when I attended Clapham County Grammar School for Girls, a group of us occasionally interacted (!) with a group of boys. Over the years, I lost touch with most of them, girls included, but Brendan stayed a constant. Tall, dark and handsome, he was around to take me for drives, to parties, even to the theatre on one memorable occasion. We last spoke on the phone six months after I'd got together with the late dh, and that was that.

So imagine my surprise, dear reader, when an email turned up in my inbox yesterday morning. He had just joined Friends Reunited, and I'd forgotten I had a brief profile on there. Terribly excited, I paid me money and replied.

This morning I had a long, long email from him remembering all the incidents from our joint past that I also remembered, including some I'd forgotten. As he hasn't got broadband in his flat (in Switzerland) I shall have to wait for him to visit the next internet cafe for the next instalment, but we did spend a lot of this morning when I should have been working emailing back and forth.

Exciting, but is it a dangerous occupation? In her book, Judy comes to the conclusion that it can be, and of course, we all remember the problems Friends Reunited had when it was in its infancy. It's very tempting, especially when drearily over the hill as I am, to fantasise a little, isn't it? And I am...

Bother Judy. I can't use it for a book, now...

19 comments:

Jan Jones said...

Isn't life funny, Lesley? I went to Copthall County Grammar School for Girls. They don't make names for schools like that any more,

Leigh Russell said...

Ghosts from the past... I think you should go for it, Judy. Why not? Indulge in a little fantasy... who knows what might happen? Then again, have you seen a recent photo of the gorgeous young man you remember? Perhaps he hasn't turned out as well as you, and how much baggage is he carrying...

Lesley Cookman said...

But, Leigh - I'm not Judy!

Leigh Russell said...

Sorry Leslie. I was reading your blog and had the name Judy in my head. Apology also appears on my blog. I know you're Leslie! My editor tells me not to worry if names change in a MS, as this happens all the time. Bit worrying if I'm doing it in real life - or virtual life anyway. Apologies again.

Vickie Farquhar said...

Hi Judy,
I stumbled on your blog whilst taking a trip down memory lane.
I also attended Clapham County Grammar School for Girls...my first year was 1953. I left in 3rd year (1956)to emmigrate to Australia. I remember my time there fondly...but I'm not great on names. I do, however, remember a couple of the teacher's names and the name of the Head Girl. Her name was Sonya Fishpool. My art teacher's name was Mrs.Clutterbuck and the gym teacher's name was Miss Thwaits. I have a feeling that it was before your time though.
I also remember that we were allowed to invite boys from an all boys school, which was close by, to the end of year 'dance'.
Do you remember how steep the hill was and that we always had to wear our hats and gloves? Summer uniform was a dress- any print but it had to be saxe blue and white and the hat for summer was a Panama with the school band.
It's a life time ago for me, but I still credit that school for waking up my thirst for knowledge.
I wish my school life in Australia had been as stimulating. I will never regret the move though - Australia is a wonderful place to live and I raised 5 great kids and have 10 2nd generations in the dynasty now!


Vickie Farquhar (nee; Veronica Eyres.)

Maureen said...

I also went to CCS from 1968 to 1973. Miss Thwaites was still there as was Miss Alford (deputy head) and Miss BJ Viner (head. I am trying to arrange a reunion

Lesley Cookman said...

Maureen - no need to arrange a reunion - the Quondam club have one every year, which I miss because I'm always in Turkey at the beginning of October. Hope you receive this, as there appears to be no way of getting in touch with via your blog.

TinaMarie said...

Hello
I went to Clapham County from 1965 - 1971 and I remember Miss Thwaites, Miss Alford, and Miss Viner. The boys' school was Emanuel, wasn't it?
My name then was Christina King.

Lesley Cookman said...

Hi TinaMarie

Gosh, you found an old blog post! I was well before you at CCS, having left in 61.

PAM said...

My name was pamela baldry and i also left in 1961 I live in Leeds now but fondly remember my time at ccs especially the dreadful hats and always being in trouble for taking it off. I remember Miss Viner fondly as she helped me a lot when my mum died whilst at the school. My name is Pam Spetch now.

Lesley Cookman said...

Astonished that this post is still getting hits! I don't remember your name Pam, but we were there at the same time.

Anonymous said...

hi there, i too attended clapham county fron1972-77. my name was michelle waterman then. i remember miss bj viner & miss alford with fondness. does anyone remember miss fisher & miss ong?

Lesley Cookman said...

How incredible - STILL getting comments on this post all those years later. Yes - Emanuel, whoever asked - and Henry Thornton. I shall do an updating post this very day.

Penny O'Hanlon said...

This is amazing! I was there from 1955-1960.
I remember the Headmistress before Miss. Viner was Miss. Willey and she was mighty scary to a shy eleven year old!
Looking back now I can appreciate how beautiful the building was but we sure didn't think so at the time.
After school we used to go down to the fish & chip shop at the bottom of the hill.
I moved to Canada in 1967 and love it here. I was Penny Stirling then.

Lesley Cookman said...

Still more posts! I can't get in touch with you, Penny, so hope you check back. Are you on my newsletter list?

Unknown said...

Here I am one year later checking in.
I am not on your Newsletter list, Lesley but would like to be...how do I do that?
I don't wish to post my e-mail address on a public forum.

Lesley Cookman said...

Dear unknown, go to my website, where you'll find a link to join the newsletter group. http://www.lesleycookman.co.uk/contact/4583974127

Sue Houston said...

Hello Lesley, I was there from 1955 until 1960 and you know me. I've contacted you a couple of times in recent years as we were such good friends, but, as I do too often nowadays, left it so long replying, felt a bit embarrassed. And hello to all our fellow CC fellow students. I have some great memories of time there - I remember Miiss Willy and Miss Viner, also Miss Thwaites and Miss Franklin (both PE) My lasting fond memories though were Miss Firth (or was it Frith) and Miss Feischman, art. Hope you're well, Lesley. Sue Houston (probably Knevett last time I contacted) and Susan Plummer at school - I feel I'm there now when I say that name.

Lesley Cookman said...

Hi Susan - great to hear from you, but I can't see a way of getting in touch with you. Links to my presence everywhere are on the website, so I hope you can make contact.