This photo was taken in February 2006 and bloggers may wonder about this class of pensioners (apart from me at the back, 2nd left!)
In truth, I joined this wonderful 'Poetry & Prose in Performance' class in September 1988 when my son was just 3 months old (he's 19 now and lives in London!) and I was the baby in a class of 'mature' students. Sadly, many of the original 'team' from those early days have died and indeed, 2 of the students from this photo passed away this year. One has left due to severe depression, one has had a leg amputated and the lady in the middle, front, is 91 and has had to give up due to progressive deafness.
Bernard, the only man in the group still attends (and gives me my weekly hug) and so does Vera, the teacher, front left. The 2 ladies at the rear, right are still in the class.
In the last 19 years, I have married, had a 2nd child, divorced, had a 9-year soul-destroying relationship with someone else (and escaped, thank God) and met and married my knight in shining armour, my wonderful Trevor who I love so very deeply.
Still, the poetry & prose in performance class continues, and I owe so much to this group, who have known me with 3 different surnames. They have seen me young, expectant, desolate, near-suicidal and now, middle-aged and contented, no, gloriously happy and filled with faith and the love of God. They have supported my professional acting work and been a willing audience when practising for my numerous exam medals, with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art ('Acting' and 'The Speaking of Verse & Prose'). Those surviving members who have put up with me for nearly 2 decades deserve medals themselves!
Is there a constant in YOUR ever-changing world?