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Living in a small town

I’ve mentioned a few times that Malvern has a real small-town feel, and that I find it pretty much impossible to go around Waitrose without bumping in to someone I know. On Saturday I met a current colleague, an ex-colleague who retired a few years ago, and some close friends of my mother who have known me since I was born. That’s pretty typical!

I was at the hairdressers recently having a badly-needed haircut. I’m so short-sighted that once I’ve taken my glasses off, I’m pretty much blind. So although I was vaguely aware that a woman had come into the salon, and I could hear her talking to her two teenage children, who were taking it in turns to get a trim, I really couldn’t see her. I was getting that funny feeling you get when someone is staring at you, so I suspected she was giving me a funny look, but I really couldn’t see well enough to stare back. Then I heard the strange woman asking the salon owner what was the name of “the lady having her fringe trimmed”. At which point she shrieked out at the top of her voice “I knew it! It is Gillian! You’re the only reason I passed my maths A-level!”.

She turned out to be someone I was at school with thirty years ago, and haven’t met since… And indeed I do remember giving her some coaching through A-level maths, though I wouldn’t have rated my contribution quite as strongly as she appeared to! Scary though that someone I was at school with now has teenage children of her own – that makes me feel old!