Soup and Ninja Lego

A lovely birthday, Interesting people, Walking in the park and reminiscing

It’s a wonderful thing to know someone for a long time. I have known Renee since we went to kindergarten in 1979 and this is a very long time indeed. I actually still know a number of people with whom I attended kindergarten, and whilst this appears to be relatively unusual it is a story for another time.

Renee and I went through kindergarten, primary school and high school together. We both did science at University in Melbourne, although at different Universities in Melbourne. We also shared a house in London at the end of last century, along with Jason and Cassie*. I was master of ceremony at Renee’s marriage to Jason. We know a lot about each other, including a few embarrassing things (just ask us!) and we have eaten a lot of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream together. Renee is smart and kind and down-to-earth and funny and a genuinely good person.

It was only right and proper that the two of us arranged to have lunch the week of my birthday this year, and that I should I write about our friendship on my developing blog.

Renee lives with her family in the northern suburbs, and so I ventured out of my comfort zone that is the inner-west… Renee and Jason have three children, and their youngest, Jacob, is still at home (but bursting to be at school at with his older brother and sister, whilst still relishing his special one-on-one time with Renee).

Jacob was very excited to be allowed to watch a couple of DVDs about the Lego Ninjas in a row (a particular treat), such that Ren and I might be able to talk relatively uninterrupted over home-made pumpkin soup and umpteen cups of tea. I did have the lego characters explained to me in some great depth at the conclusion of the DVDs, and this of course was most impressive. However, I do hope there is not ever a test that I have to pass about which character had which weapon or magical power.

We caught up on the stories of our lives, of our families and of others we both know. We talked about our jobs and our hobbies and our holiday adventures. We talked about what we might do next (when we work out what we want to be when we grow up). Whilst I don’t see Ren as much as I used to, or as often as I would like with our busy lives, there is a real ease with which we slip back into our conversations. That is part of the privilege of knowing someone for so long I guess – that shared history, and so many shared experiences and stories. We have been talking about what we want to do when we grow up since 1979, but still we’re not sure!

There's always more to say and another cup of tea to be drunk...

There’s always more to say and another cup of tea to be drunk…

Jacob’s impressive and disciplined Ninja Lego collection.

Watch out - they're coming to get you

Watch out – they’re coming to get you

Last century in London and well before hipsters started drinking wine out of glasses. And yes, that is curry sauce in a cup.

Celebrating our new digs - fish and chips on plastic plates with 'Football Crazy' branded wine (GBP 1.99 - value during the World Cup)!

Celebrating our new digs – fish and chips on plastic plates with ‘Football Crazy’ branded wine (GBP 1.99 – value during the World Cup)! London – 1998

The height of fashion and orthodontics.

Debutante fashion, circa 1991

Debutante fashion, circa 1991

What we look like in 2014 – disappointingly similar hair to the photo from 1998, but pleasingly dis-similar from the photo from 1991!

Old friends

Our kindergarten photo from 1979. I think I can still name everyone, how about you?

What a cute and intelligent-looking bunch of youngsters. Ren and KatharineMargaret in the front row

What a cute and intelligent-looking bunch of youngsters. Ren and KatharineMargaret in the front row. 1979

* Renee, Jason, Cassie and Kate were the original residents at the flat in Australia Road, Shepherds Bush. Occasional, and sometimes much longer, visitors included Aaron, Chris, Sammy D, Hamish, Todd Dickinson and Stephen R (now Cassie’s husband!), and a few others besides that.

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