Twenty three years ago, I shared a dormitory with three friends at boarding school.
I've posted before about what an ordeal boarding school was for me, but one thing I did get out of it was some very close friendships*.
At 14, E, J, A and I were the geeky girls in our particular boarding house. There was another crowd of girls who were all very sporty, Sloaney and snobbish. They spent their holidays going to Gatecrasher Balls in London, riding horses and snogging boys who went to Eton. They were casually cruel to anyone who didn't fit their particular mould.
In contrast I was the weird one who lived Abroad and was always making up poems and stories. A and J were brainboxes; it probably didn't help that A had a dreadful perm and J was gawky and goofy. E wore thick NHS glasses and had a Midlands accent. We were definitely not the cool crowd.
I guess we were kind of thrown together, but we became great friends and the friendships lasted right up until the end of the sixth form. Afterwards, we inevitably grew apart but have continued to meet up from time to time. And they are all amazing. J has had a stellar career in banking as well as fitting in two boys; A moved abroad and has worked all over the world while her husband looks after their three kids. E has gone from nursing to a mega-successful career in healthcare management. When she moved to London for work a few years ago, we began to meet up regularly again for nights out, and she has become a kind of quasi-godmother to the Littleboys (they aren't Christened, so no official godparents).
This picture was taken a few years ago when we met up at Kew Gardens. I'm in the middle, pregnant with Littleboy 2, between E and J. A was taking the picture. There's been so much water under the bridge since boarding school and we are all very different now. But I feel lucky to know such gorgeous, talented and interesting women. And so glad that I was not in the cool crowd.
*This post is for The Gallery; this week's subject, friendship. Go over there to take a peek at some stunning photography and incredible posts.