This year it is 20 years ago since I left university. I cannot believe it is 20 years, that makes me feel ancient, wrinkly and generally depressed. But 20 years it is and there was only one way to get through the landmark, celebrate with some old university mates and a lot of South African Sauvignon Blanc.
There were four of us old Durhamites at the beach restaurant, three of us living here and the fourth who had jetted in for a World Economic Forum event.
So Paul, Phil, Katherine and I settled down to lunch. I knew immediately Katherine hadn’t changed in 20 years despite now being one of the most powerful women in the City when the first thing she spotted was a man in a red thong.
“It’s not a good look,” she chuckled. It really wasn’t.
Happily our luncheon companions were more conservatively attired. Paul and Phil (or Phildo as Katherine kept reminding him his nickname was) both became bankers. They are not often seen in public wearing red thongs. Or in private, as far as I know.
Like so many Durham lunches it went on rather a long time. Phildo, being more sensible than the rest of us (which he always was), left around 4pm. I think we left at around 7 but I am not sure.
One thing is for sure though; however many years go by people stay more or less the same. I could never remember leaving a lunch party and Katherine was always extremely amusing and prone to spotting thongs.
“Did you play that well-known intellectual Durham lunch-party game of pass the piece of spaghetti with your mouth?” Rupes asked when I got home. He has a great respect for my place of learning. No, we didn’t, we’re saving that for the 40 year reunion when we can swap dentures instead. That’s something to look forward to. And maybe by then we will all have invested in some red thongs as well.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009