certaines choses ne changent jamais

Plus ça change (plus c’est la même chose), the more things change the more they stay the same, or perhaps more accurately “certaines choses ne changent jamais”, some things never change.

See how useful a Grade C French CSE can be, I knew I’d use it sooner or later, now for the algebra…

Friday night was living proof that the more things change the more they stay the same, we’d all changed, all four of us, the years had seen to that, forty years had passed since we’d last socialised, forty years of growing old, going out to work to pay for a mortgage, raise children, pay the bills, forty years of ball-busting routine, those forty years etched in your face and in the missing hair of your youth, and yet nothing had changed.

Form 1S, Leeds Modern Grammar School, 1968, fresh faced, embarrassingly new school uniforms, thrown together by pure chance into a form room of 30 other boys our five years in that emporium of old fashioned style education moulded us into the adults that we are now, those most formative of years from 11 to 16 years of age were where we crafted our musical tastes, our humour and a state of well-being if not worth, for having a board rubber thrown at you every day was not exactly straight from Volume One of “The Big Book of Self-Worth”.

Its where we first heard of Monty Python, Led Zeppelin, The Moody Blues, Deep Purple, its where some of us first picked up a guitar, its where some of us first picked up a paintbrush, its where we all grew to hate the tuneless hell of an orchestra of thirty recorders, we earned our nicknames, some of them as simple as our surnames, others slightly more complicated, like m’ole who was one of the four present on Friday night, there is an explanation for calling him m’ole (with apostrophe) but thats not important right now.

Companionship was bonded in the adversity of that first year at an old fashioned Grammar School that has lasted half a lifetime and for three hours on Friday night until well after midnight those old days were back on the table of discussion, chewed over one more time, the constant companion to those tales of woe being our 55 year old laughter, forty years on and we still took the piss out of each other in that easy manner that old friends can, you can’t offend someone that has the same scholar history as you, even if you haven’t seen him for forty years.

I knew Tim from the numerous house moves that he’s done for us, I recognised Chris from across a crowded bar after a forty year absence as though it was the summer of ’74 again and I’d just handed in my text books for the last time, and m’ole recognised the pair of us easily as we stood outside the Gents toilet in the pub last Friday simply because the place was heaving and there was nowhere else to stand, I promise you, thats the only reason.


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