Back to the ’80s

Friends were supposed to be coming round today for a meal and games, but Daughter of Mine is a bit under the weather at the moment.   Earlier in the week I made the decision to postpone to another date, when I can be sure that she’s able to join in and not whinge for the next week about being tired.

The timing of this cancellation though has enabled me to participate in a full-on ’80s revival happening in Chichester tonight.  Early evening, mind.  This gathering of 40-somethings probably has a self-limiting curfew.

On Thursday I got wind via Facebook of a reunion being organised for the group I was at college with in 1986-1988 studying performing arts.  I haven’t seen any of them, except one, since then, so this is going to be really wierd.  I’ve just been looking through some photos of us all, taken when we went on an exchange visit to India at Christmas 1987 to showcase our drama performances to students out there.  It seems like a lifetime ago; we all look so young!  Tonight will tell whether the years have been kind to us all…

Looking back over the photos, I can remember what an incredible experience this three-week trip to India was.  We performed excerpts from traditional English drama – from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and I think I did a piece from Private Lives by Noel Coward – I found the script at any rate when I was looking through some papers yesterday.

We stayed with host families often during our visit, only having to put up with dodgy domitories a couple of times.  Here’s one where I obviously couldn’t resist taking a photo of the none-too-pleasant facilities!

We did see some fantastic things though – as well as the sightseeing ‘musts’ like the Taj Mahal and the Ajanta Caves at Maharashtra – we were treated to cultural spectacles of Indian dance and music.

I remember disjointed bits about the trip – one of the music students nearly throwing up on a bus; fake snow with the Christmas decorations in the Taj Mahal hotel in Bombay (as it was still named then); staying with a family in Mangalore who took us out on their yacht on Boxing Day; being bundled out of a venue halfway through a performance due to a demonstration by the locals, shouting “English, go home!”; taking my anti-malaria tablets on an empty stomach one morning and feeling REALLY sick; and eating scrambled eggs with what I thought were chopped tomatoes stirred in for breakfast – they were extremely hot chillies!

Can’t wait to see what the others remember about the trip and our college days later tonight!


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