Tonight was quiz night at the pub; it’s such a social and sociable occasion, and thanks to this event I’ve made lots of friends and many more nodding acquaintances. I used to go down with my daughter, just the two of us, and we often sat next to an elderly lady who was in a team with her son and several others. Through chatting to her we got to know the son and several others who all live in the village.
People don’t have set positions in the pub and after a while, when it was my son who came down with me to the quiz (Tuesday night is band practice for my husband) we got to know team ice-cream, a couple who own the best ice-cream parlour in the world, and their friend. It wasn’t long before we amalgamated and became a single team… and when joined by others, including a lovely South African friend and her partner who is a pilot (on the rivers not in the air) we became a double team. Time moves on, son has new friends and soon we have an international branch – Spanish, Hungarian, and most recently Latvian!
It was when I was talking to our new Latvian friend I remembered when I went to secondary school; I was lucky that it was a grammar school with girls from all over the county. I had several friends and people who I knew who came from the same primary school. However, when I arrived in our new class, I began to make new friends. One of them was Latvian; at that point I had never heard of a country called Latvia and I was fascinated! I guess her father, and maybe her mother too had arrived in England as refugees or displaced persons as they were then called…or maybe her father had fought against the Germans in one of the services, I really don’t know.
She was a lovely girl, with blond hair in long plaits, and very blue, blue eyes. I liked her very much and have very fond memories of her. As the years passed we drifted apart in school, but I have always remembered her. I don’t know where she is now, but I hope she has a happy life… and it would be wonderful if she remembered me too!