Sunday, October 25, 2009
Then it was decided, by mutual hardly spoken consent that we’d drive by: just to see. A glance off to the left - a reflection in the rear view mirror, a glimpse through trees - that would be more than enough.
But when we arrived it was Open Day and without hesitation R turned up into the drive and onto the car park, where it used to be all fields. Really, it did. Who even had a car in those days? Maybe that one girl from Devon and the other, who came back for the second term with freshly divorced parents and her own transport.
While prospective students and the parents of prospective students single mindedly sought out the shiny new accommodation blocks and asked their tabard wearing guides tough questions about the state of the art sports science facilities we roamed the empty corridors of the old halls, unchecked, trying really hard to remember anything of significance and almost totally failing.
Except...except that I do remember this particularly seminal staircase, and this view of Stanley and I'm sure the ‘photocopying suite’ was once the entrance to the bar (which, unsurprisingly, is totally ruined - there’s no way you could have a disco in there now. Or spend hour after hour lounging around willing something of significance to happen).
In Southport it was the same - street after street that we might never have walked down before, an unremarkable flat on a road we would never have recognised. Not remembering things was a recurring theme: alternating with sheer wonderment at all those miles we thought nothing of walking in search of a night out or a bag of chips.
No wonder we were thin.
Now, if only we'd understood that.