May 2014

Pandas, Sharks and Memory Lane

If there was ever a perfect incentive to wake up then my red Citroen waiting in the garage would win every time. Four months of no driving can take its toll on a country girl. But today I could drive and it was glorious.

First stop: Dundee.

I would say that it is difficult to find the right words to describe Dundee, but that would be wrong. There are plenty of accurate and appropriate words to illustrate the city but none of them are particularly pleasant. So instead, I will romanticise it from a personal point of view.

Dundee is where I spent my teenage years: from twelve to seventeen. Those were very interesting years to say the least. And so Dundee has a special place in my heart. Most importantly because two of my best friends still live there. And the other two are originally from little towns near the city and they visit every so often.

Today I was meeting Sophie.

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We have been best friends since first year English class when Sophie went all Mean Girls on me and took the fresh meat under her wings… Wow that sounds creepier than I had intended. If you have seen the movie then you will understand.

Nine years later and here we are: twenty-something and trying to figure out what the hell we’re going to do with our lives. Sophie very recently accepted her offer to study acting in London. We are all extremely excited to visit and go on some nights out in the big city. It will certainly make a change from Dundee.

We caught up on relationships, work, friend situations, did the obligatory bitching about people we have seen from high school, shared recent stories in which we had humiliated ourselves (usually publicly), verbally abused each other for a while, visited the Disney store and drank awesome Raspberry Ripper smoothies from Fuel. The usual escapades.

And then we got a message from our best friend Vicky and her girlfriend Sophie (yes, the name thing gets confusing). They were driving back from Edinburgh Zoo and wanted to go out for dinner.

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We headed for Nandos. The thing about Dundee (and I imagine any place where you have grown up) is that you have a very high probability of seeing someone you know. Or at least someone you used to know. “I’m getting that feeling,” I said to Sophie, “I’m going to see someone I know in Nandos.” Five minutes into our meal and two guys join the queue to order food. They just so happen to be the best friends of my ex who I have not seen in two years. “I told you!” I exclaimed to Sophie. Nobody was surprised.

Our meal was awesome. Vicky and Sophie told us all about the sharks and the pandas at the zoo. We ended up going into great detail about the panda situation. For all who don’t know, Edinburgh Zoo have been feverishly trying to get these two pandas to mate for a while now. It’s safe to say, we all quickly lost our appetites but only for a few minutes until the food arrived.

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Vicky and Sophie have moved into their new flat in Aberdeen and are very happy together. We discussed summer plans, Canada, coursework, and stories from our teenage years that nobody wants brought up again.

We had an awesome time before departing to our separate cars. I drove Sophie home and we listened to Avril Lavigne’s Sk8r Boy on full volume. The occasional trip down memory lane is healthy. I certainly think it helps us all feel slightly less daunted and insane about our impending doom futures.

Love Jill

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