The Sapphic School Re-union

Corsaire’s new boat

Stepping off the boat onto Albert Pier throws me into a parallel existence – a Sliding Doors scenario of what is, what was, and what could have been.

I’m a returning bean heading for a school reunion, walking with a quicker step because I’m minus the rest of my family, and I’m a lovelorn teenager strolling to the end of the pier with my boyfriend, stopping off for a bacon sandwich on the way.

Jersey does that to me, every time I come.
Each corner throws me back to some other age.

The place I crashed my car when I saw an ex-boyfriend kissing his new girlfriend.
The smart hotel, then a bus station café where we all met up after school.
The seawater bathing pool where I learned to swim and spent day after day of endlessly sunny summer holidays.

It sends me into a daze, which this time isn’t helped by an early trip from St Malo on Corsaire’s first ever run between St Malo and Jersey.
They even gave every passenger a certificate to mark the occasion.

My first port of call is to the hairdresser I used to go to when I last lived here.
“Can you make me look like I did ten years ago?” I ask.

She smiles. It’s such a relief to be sitting in front of the only hairdresser I’ve found who can converse without asking me what I’ve got planned for the weekend.

She laughs when she hears I’ve come for a school reunion.
“Lots of people get their hair done for those,” she confides.

I then spend a day swimming in the sea with friends, before ringing to check exactly where tonight’s do is.

My former classmate is silent on the phone, then says,
“Please don’t tell me you’re calling from Jersey.”
“Yes, why?” Another silence.
“I didn’t know you were coming for sure, and we postponed it until next weekend because lots of people couldn’t make it this weekend.”

Another silence, from me this time.

I’ve come to a non-existent school reunion, missing a moules-frites evening and a couple of promising vides-greniers to get here.

“Never mind, I should have rung to check before I booked, its OK, I can see some other friends anyway, don’t worry about it…”

I put the phone down, and re-adjust my plans.

Which is how I ended the day tasting the contemporary Jersey sapphic experience at the last ever night of Cosmo’s, where I danced until 1am… which was probably more fun than sitting around talking up my shining career and glorious family with people I went to school with.

I haven’t told Mike yet that he’s had the children for two days for no particular reason…

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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9 Responses to The Sapphic School Re-union

  1. dulwichmum says:

    Poor you. How very disappointing. I don’t know what to say, I was getting so excited for you as I read through your post.

  2. How intensely irritating. That never happens in the movies …

  3. mid-lifer says:

    How incredibly ANNOYING! Still at least it got you out of the house – which is more than I’ve been able to achieve of late :)

  4. Mopsa says:

    I think that sounds like heaven – time to spend exactly as you want in a place you love, handed to you as an unexpected gift. Simply glorious. I am most envious.

  5. If I’d known how big a deal school reunions would be, I’d have made more effort while I was actually at the place. What a shame. How frustrating to be there the wrong weekend.

  6. Rilly Super says:

    hmmm, how many of these ‘school reunions’ do you think you could get away with without arousing suspicion?

  7. Jen says:

    You got to go to the final night at the Cosmopoitan with your new hair? Ah, that’s got to be better than comparing notes with people you’ve all but forgotten.

    Life just chucks you what you need sometimes.

  8. Beta Mum says:

    It was bloody annoying at the moment I realised, but within five minutes I was fighting off the desire to run around waving my arms in the air with glee.

    Rilly Super – I think I’ll have to wait another five years to recycle that particular excuse.
    Although to give blog-fodder Mike his due – I don’t really need an excuse.

  9. Facebook is like a school renuion but better as you don’t actually have to converse or socialise with these people face to face!

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