Reliving my student youth
Sometimes you need to remember that, once upon a time, you weren't just a clapped-out, middle-aged embarrassment to your teenage kids.
It might be hard to believe, looking at the state of you now, but you were once the sparkly-eyed bright young thing with a head full of dreams and the world at your feet.
Then, around the time you got your first proper job, got married or had kids, you turned into your parents.
But the best way to fan the embers of your long-lost youth is to meet up with friends who knew you back in the day when you were young, pretty and edgy.
They don’t know, or care, about the years of day-to-day drudgery that stamped your spirit flat. All they want to do, for one night only, is party like it’s 1990.
The last time I’d seen friends I made 30 years ago at what was St Martin’s College (since rebadged as the University Of Cumbria) was in June 2017 as we staggered out of Wembley Stadium after watching The Stone Roses play an apocalyptic penultimate gig.
Fast forward 18 months and, when we all walked into a room together last weekend, it was like we’d just been away at the bar for a few minutes getting a round in.
Conversations were picked up where they left off, there was a familiar shorthand and everybody was far too polite to say how old and knackered we all looked.
As if by magic, the late-40s dullards with their careers, pension plans and long list of responsibilities disappeared in a puff of smoke and were replaced by their 20-year-old selves who were off to watch James and The Charlatans play to a packed-out Manchester Arena.
Both bands had played the Sugar House when we were all in our prime and we still had the T-shirts (long-sleeved ‘Come Home’ in my case) which still fit! It still fit! Thank you spin and Pilates class instructors!
After the gig, and a few drinks and a curry later, our batteries ran out just before 2am and it was sleepy time. Then the morning after the night before, handshakes all round and promises not to leave it so long before the next meet up, especially as two of our party are 50 next year. Fifty. How in God’s name did that happen?