'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Monday, December 05, 2005

Time Regained/My Old School (trad French melody, arr. Becker & Fagen)

Friday night I did something that I had once forever foresworn - I went back to my old school. This time at the invitation of La Virtuosa, for a concert of classical music and jazz in the rather pretentiously named 'Whitelaw Marquee'. (Such a temporary erection hardly has the fleshy permanence one naturally associates with the late Willie). The entertainment was quite breathtakingly good - far superior to that on offer when I'd been a pupil there myself - and the half-time canapes exceptional. One could almost believe that the once-reviled institution was now practically civilised, an impression borne out at the after-concert party at La Virtuosa's where I was ruthlessly interrogated about my past links with the place and found the missing pieces of many histories and memories unexpectedly supplied.
This was a touching counterpart to the experience of scanning the interval crowd in the Whitelaw Marquee. An experience straight out of the Princesse de Guermantes' reception at the climax of Le Temps Retrouve. Many of the faces were familiar, but utterly changed. My former PE teacher, once a vigorous and athletic 30-something, seemed ancient. Faces once young were transformed beyond easy recognition. Except for me, of course - I was entirely unchanged in both appearance and mindset, and the ancients' failure to recognise me was solely down to their own deficient powers. Whether this means I now know what it is I must do with my life I couldn't possibly say, but I was certainly left with the impression of having lived through a certain period of time.


Blogger boudica of suburbia said...

I''ll only go to the renunions of a selct few of the schools I've been to. First on the list are the posh ones: ensnare a rich alumni and a holiday in Antibes could be mine.


9/12/05 3:26 am  
Blogger Nick said...

B, you've obviously been thrown out of more & better schools than I ever was . . .

9/12/05 9:15 am  

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