I have been friends with Fiona since I was 17 years old. We had just moved back to the UK from Canada and I was in French class wondering how I was going to fit back into a French class in the UK after 4 years in Quebec. The French teacher at Hills Road Sixth Form College wasn’t sure either; he seemed concerned I might have trouble keeping up. However, as I sat in class listening to other students struggling to put basic sentences together, I realized that my four years in Quebec had stood me in good stead back in Europe. I was now worried about getting bored. But then, a voice from across the classroom uttered words I will never forget: “J’étais piquée par une méduse.” I sat up in my seat to get a better look at the girl who had been stung by a jellyfish. She was slim with a brown bob, and in her jeans and sandals had a slightly hippy vibe. I immediately wanted to meet her.
Today was my friend Rebecca’s birthday. This Rebecca I met when I was 16 and had just started Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge. I had moved with my family from Canada to England and remember missing my Canadian friends and being anxious about meeting new friends in England. Rebecca was one of the first friends I made at Hills Road. I was dazzled by her. She was tall, slim, had long, thick, dark brown hair and probably the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen. They sparkled when she told stories, and I’m sure my eyes were sparkling too. Her stories were always so hilariously witty and often followed by a hearty laugh. She had attended a local private girls’ school called The Perse, but wasn’t stuck up at all. Instead she was very warm, friendly and welcoming, one of the group of girls at Hills Road who made me feel ok about living in England.