Tuesday, 1 July 2014


So Debbie Harry and Dolly Parton were both 68 when they played Glastonbury at the weekend! In fact Debbie's birthday is today so she's now 69 - can you believe it? - I always remember her birthday because it's the day before mine.  Anyway, did you see them on stage? I was sadly disappointed by Blondie... and experienced the opposite from Dolly. I couldn't have predicted that.

Neither could I have predicted even a few days ago quite how it would feel to meet up with someone whom I haven't seen for thirty-two years.  Thirty-two years! The last occasion we even clapped eyes on each other was when we were just 19, the day we walked out of that Graphics studio at college for the very last time. I don't even remember saying “goodbye”. Partings then didn't seem like partings, perhaps that's an age thing (I'm not talking about hair...)

We live at opposite ends of the country now but on Friday a rare opportunity allowed us to reunite for a long pub lunch.  It's quite a weird thing to see someone after that kind of gap and it was absolutely brilliant. Now, with both of us hurtling towards our 51st birthdays, I reckon we've turned out fine. Supping a pint of Guinness in the sunshine and chatting freely for hours I could still see the boy he was in college days, and perhaps he could still see the girl I was - but it's even better now... easy... we're settled and confident and positive and mellow (though not too mellow) and... old! And – here's another thing I couldn't have predicted: I'm liking being this age (and 68 still seems a long way off but if Debbie and Dolly can do it....)

(If you just happen to be reading this... after you mentioned Salad Days (a song which I had totally forgotten) by Young Marble Giants from our college era when we inhaled as much spray mount as we did cigarette smoke, I came home and reminded myself of it and it seems so very apt.   If college days were our salad days, now we're in our apple pie and custard days.  Here it is.)


  1. What a lovely experience for both of you. Glad you made the most of it. It's great that you can enjoy being the age you are - have a fine time tomorrow! It's quite odd to think that Debbie is actually older than Dolly. Weird. Dolly is, of course, a phenomenon. Now, YMG were perfect.

  2. I'm meeting up with a cousin of mine who I've not seen since 1974 later in the Summer; something I've been doing a lot of lately - coming from a large Irish family I would appear to have more cousins than you can shake a shitty stick at. She contacted me out of the blue about 18 months ago and sent me a photo of us taken together at a family wedding. In my head she still looks like that. Interestingly, I think she swings by your blog from time to time and leaves you lovely comments. J x

  3. I was ill over the weekend and missed most of the Glasto stuff sadly, but did hear a bit of Blondie on the breeze coming from a neighbours window... except I thought it was a man doing a cover version at the time... was her voice really low or was that my fevered imagination... or just my fever?

    How amazing to meet up with someone after all that time, I bet you had plenty to chat about! I would love the bump into long ago friends that I have lost touch with over the years. Maybe you can meet again in another 32, who knows, they say we are all living longer ;o)

  4. You and Dolly Parton are the Boss.

    Happy Birthday ma'am.

  5. I feel blessed to have managed to become reacquainted with someone I was very close to after too many years of non communication . We became very close, sadly for too short a time as they died suddenly this year. So don't hesitate, make the effort anyone who is hesitating about looking for your former best buddy, life is too short.
    And John looking forward to meeting immensely , though I can assure you I no longer look like my teenage self!
    Have a very happy Birthday C, I'm so glad you did manage to catch up and love the post, I think the two D's are a great inspiration for those of us rapidly heading towards our bus pass, only 5 more years for me!

  6. Just turned 65, San Miguel days I suppose. Was on Holiday in Mexico and met a couple, he was security guard for Dolly and she talked exactly the same as Dolly...it was just fabulous when she vomitted in the pool Bar and had to be carried to her room.

  7. Wow. Had you kept in touch at all during all that time? If not, how did you reconnect? Inspiring post as always C. Happy birthday and here's to many more apple pie and custard days!

  8. Thanks everyone for lovely comments (and birthday wishes)! You've all said it so well, no need for me to add anything, apart from a couple of specifics
    - Yve: do hope you're feeling better, no it wasn't your fever that made Debbie's voice sound like that!
    - John and Circe's Attic: how lovely that you found each other! Hope you have a great time when you meet up at last, that's such a long time. So sorry to hear about your friend too, CA.
    - The Swede: no we didn't keep in touch, perhaps as we had just been classmates rather than really close friends, and only reconnected with each other relatively recently via the wonders of the ol' interweb...


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