We stood chatting surveying the room. Although we were deep in the heart of Chelsea there was a definite breath of Co. Meath air in the room – one that produced fresh faced looking characters with a slight windswept look to their hair and a curious countenance. Jollity and energy prevailed and I was taken back to days of soft rain and emerald green playing fields with cricket the game of choice for many of my fellow eight year old schoolmates.
“I’d love to meet your mother” I said to Daragh. “I understand she was the first girl to study there. When I arrived some years later I was also the only girl for a year or so – it was quite an experience.”
Gisele joined us and I whispered the years I had attended school to her. She looked at me aghast “WHAT skin cream to you use!” she exclaimed rather than asked. I further informed her that the present headmaster had been my date at my debs (an Irish equivalent of a high school prom) years later. “Really!!” she exclaimed again.
My braces surveyed the nibbles on offer. I was starving. Houmous with crudites, sausage rolls, lots of crunchy stuff. “Hmmm, what do you think is easy to eat?” I asked a girl standing beside me. Before she could respond a tall handsome gentleman dashed up and interrupted us “You could try those I suppose” he said quickly whilst kissing me on both cheeks, “They look harmless enough.” I glanced at the miniature yorkshire puddings but felt it was a little too risky. This was a school reunion after all.
I got chatting to my ‘prom’ date and told him about the ensuing weekend. “Just watch that you’re not so focused on writing about it that you don’t enjoy any of the benefits of the healing.” His comment stopped me in my tracks.
Daragh stood close by. “I wish I was going for longer now” I said to him, “I’m staying in a lovely hotel as well” “Well, why don’t you see if you can change your flight?” he replied. It was a light bulb moment. I said my adieus and sped into the fragrant May night.