Vanessa Pearce 41/365

It has been too long! Too long between blog posts and too long since I last spoke to Vanessa.The blog took a long holiday because other writing projects got in the way and if I had blogged through it all I’d have (to quote a fellow waitress whom I worked with in The Odd House, Snarestone, 1985) ‘an arse like a carthorse.’ The blog, it has been decided (by me) will take as long as it takes and when it’s finished, I’ll let you know.

In the Radio 2 show that I was on in August, a few people rang in with their comments afterwards. Most were against social media and said that Facebook interferred with the natural laws of friendship because some people come into your life for a reason, some for a season, some for a lifetime and you just can’t keep everyone. If I had kept everyone, I’d have 20,000 on my friendlist.

Vanessa Pearce covers every one of those categories. She was my sister’s best friend at teacher training college in the early 80’s and we hooked up through Facebook last year. . We have just carried on from where we left off the last time we saw each other. That was when she had just had a baby 4 days earlier, in her own bedroom. She now sends messages to my sister through me

I have just put down the phone to her and we have gabbled away for half an hour mainly about our families, whom we each know a lot about because of this brave new world we are living in. She sounds exactly the same and her voice transports me back to the angsty years when my sisters left home and I had to pour my heart out to my dog instead.

i reminded her of the year she and Helen shared the attic flat of an enormous Georgian house in Winchester belonging to the Bruce-Gardine family. We couldn’t dance to Duran Duran’s View to a Kill single too hard because of the family under the floor.

And did she remember the night we spent watching her boyfriend pace up and down the pavement below? When she finally went downstairs to talk to him, he’d gone, leaving her to pace the pavement for hours below us. We ate ginormous vol-au-vents for dinner then went out and danced in the students union as hard as we liked. A few years later Vanessa married the boy on the pavement, he’s at home today.

Vanessa gave me news on all of their old friends, every single one a vivid memory in my teenage years. I wonder if they would remember me as anything other than Helen’s naughty little sister.

Nothing has changed.

grad helen

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