This morning two delightful young women came to our house, they were both in their first year at university, so we could have been something in the relationship of grand-parents. Of course we have no biological connection. They arrived at our front door as complete strangers. Two charming young women from if I remember correctly Kent, it soon became clear that in normal social circumstances we would never have met. The prestigious university, probably the largest commercial enterprise in the city, seems to be looking to minimise town and gown friction by setting up a befriending scheme. We agreed, in a very bold moment to be part of this initiative.
Two lively eighteen year old girls arrived on Saturday at the appointed time; one was clearly 6 foot tall, the other 6 inches less. ( I’ve decided I’m shrinking my skirts are getting ridiculously long) Height is something which always makes a big impact on me. They were polite and courteous, the taller one rather shy and quiet, the dark haired girl very vivacious and talkative. It soon became clear that they came from a very different social background to my husband and myself. As a child I lived in a council house, I was fortunate that free education was part of the post war world, I passed the 11+ and went to grammar school. There was consternation about the extremely expensive school uniform, but a small grant was available so my parents were able to make sure I wore the same uniform as everyone else.
Tiny hints made it clear our guests experience was totally different, they had been to independent schools, of course they did not directly make any reference to this. We talked about education, their studies and the dreadful mess the world is getting itself into. Time passed very quickly, soon they were leaving, what they made of two ancient characters like us I have no idea. Maybe we seemed like two ancient mariners relics of a long ago time and a far away country called the past. To us it was an adventure.