Royal weddings and Old Portmuthians

I’d made my mind up that I was not going to watch the TV coverage of the Royal Wedding; I just wasn’t that interested I’m afraid. Instead I chose to finish the last 150 pages of Under the Dome by Stephen King – the jury is still out on wether I’ll pick up another of his novels btw.

We had however been invited to a “street party” of sorts run by the people of High View on our island in the middle of the road. The intention was to pop along for an hour and then head off to the Beer Festival at the Old Spot in Cheltenham but I got talking to some of my neighbours; one thing led to another and we just nixed the beer fest and stayed at the party all evening.

This was where I came to realise how really bloody small the world really is. Talking to my next door neighbour I discovered he worked for the Navy in Portsmouth. In HMS Excellent on Whale Island to be exact. We exchanged a few more Pompey stories, shared a few pub names we both knew and in passing I mentioned my old school – Portsmouth Grammar.

“I have two work colleagues that went to Portsmouth Grammar School”, he said.

“Oh, who were they?” I asked.

“Well Anthony Goodall” he said

I stopped him right there an asked “Did you say Anthony Goodall?”

“Yep” he said.

I went to school with Anthony Goodall, amazingly he had been one of my best friends while I was at the school. All of which I told Charles. We were both dumb-struck. How could I be talking to someone who has relatively recently become my neighbour in Gloucester to discover purely by chance conversation that he works with someone – still – in Portsmouth who is an old school mate of 30 years ago?

Later in the evening, while getting his glass recharged Charles phoned AG and is meeting him tomorrow with the intention of setting up a meeting for us in the near future.

A ton of long buried memories bubbled to the surface. His interest in railways – actually we’d both gotten into it at the same time; being in his house listening to the radio when they announced the death of Elvis Presley and the fact that he was a punk in ’76 – well almost, he made a deal with his mum – she allowed him to be a punk if he wore a vest under his ripped T-shirt 🙂

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