After a year I have given up on friendsreunited.com. I always thought that after more than half an average lifetime since leaving school it would be unlikely that I still had much to chat about to my old school chums – but my youngest daughter goaded me into signing up.
I belong to a generation which is generally rather uncertain about using the web even so I was surprised by what little personal information my peers were prepared to divulge – particularly the women. Most usually gave just a line to say how many children they had or that they were widowed – often there was nothing. The most interesting was a chum I was very friendly with – we used to frequently go off on cycling week-ends. He is living in British Columbia and had spent most of his life in the Kenyan Police. Another friend who had shared the rigours of a backpacking tour of the Lake District with me also made contact but in an exchange of an e-mail or two he never revealed his whereabouts or how he had spent his life. I thought this very odd when as boys we had been so close for a year or two.
It was the women who really aroused my curiosity because they often disclosed nothing about themselves. I recognised several names but could not recall faces and sent off friendly e-mails – but there was not a single reply. Did they receive them? Did they have any recollection of me? Who knows.
Perhaps after so many years we really do not have much in common and I can't pretend that recalling my school years particularly appeals. I hope my former class mates were able to lead full and interesting lives as I have, but sadly it seems I will never know.