Friends reunited

Hallowe’en, 1992.
Even before dusk falls the sky casts a dark blue. Black crows circle overhead, intimidating me. Bats tease amid the whisper of the surrounding trees. In the isolation of this field, would anyone hear me scream?
Sod this, I think, I should be back at the JCR bar. Midway through my management degree (with no idea of the moderate success as a direct marketer this would bring me later on), I could really do with a beer.
Times are hard, and I rely on my holiday accounts job in a London insurance company to see me through. Tonight, watered-down lager’s half-price with each plastic glass of lukewarm schnapps. And there’s snakebite to be won in the apple-bobbing competition.
But I’m not in the JCR bar: I’m in a field in Sussex. Helping my holiday job boss put up an electric fence around its perimeter.
It’ll all be worth it, though: chilli con carne and cold beer is being served. Followed by a proper bath. And a warm night’s accommodation. Plus I’ll get my laundry done.
More importantly, this unimpressive patch of land will become my boss’s wine vineyard. This time next year, we could be millionaires.
In the meantime, after a hard afternoon’s work, we’re circling the field testing the fence.
And no-one can hear us scream.
Tuesday 6 July, 2004.
The sky’s bright blue but for the occasional cloud. Chattering masses sit among the pavement tables of Charlotte Street.
I’ve just met up with my ex holiday job boss for the first time in, ooh, at least eight years.
Despite our best efforts, the deer had easily jumped our carefully-erected fence. His vine crop had been ruined. Then, after a couple of years, we’d lost touch, and I’d learnt he’d returned to Malaysia.
Until years later, just like a deer stalker, I hunted him down. Through the wonder of google-search, I found him. Still working in Malaysia. But just back from a visit to London… Typical! I’d missed him by days.
One summer on, we finally meet for lunch. Any nervousness quickly dissolved as we catch up on lost years. I return to work absolutely buoyed by our long overdue reunion. So glad we did it. And seriously considering my invite to Malaysia.
Anyone you should get back in touch with?
After all, friends aren’t just for Hallowe’en.

1 Comment so far

  1. Sally Crawford (unregistered) on July 7th, 1904 @ 10:08 am

    Hi, Unlucky Man,
    I know deer fencing (I am but a poet after all). I’ll do a drawing. Send it later.
    Pip, pip,
    Sally



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