Those were the days

PUBLISHED: 11:07 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:49 11 May 2010

THE word trepidation comes to mind about a recent return to the back streets of suburban North London. It wasn t so much concern about the return to an area last seen about 40 years ago, but the occasion. This was not just simply a nostalgic return. Here

THE word trepidation comes to mind about a recent return to the back streets of suburban North London.

It wasn't so much concern about the return to an area last seen about 40 years ago, but the occasion.

This was not just simply a nostalgic return.

Here I was about to meet people who, for most of them, I hadn't seen for 50 years.

Would I recognise them? Or, perhaps, more importantly, would they recognise me?

It was an exercise in the ageing process. To see how people have changed over the years, and whether the ambitions of the past have actually been met.

The one consolation was that at least one of those there had kept in touch over the years.

Indeed, we had grown up together into almost responsible adults.

We shared times on the terraces at Highbury, and maybe surprisingly, at White Hart Lane, in those Glory Glory Days of Spurs in the 1960s.

We were, we always liked to believe, a version of the Likely Lads who became Men Behaving Badly, and are now looking ahead to turning into characters out of Last of the Summer Wine.

That's age for you.

Still, to return to the point. I walked into a hall - which had been modernised and didn't have a trace of our existence, to be met by a whole crowd of people who looked, well, middle-aged.

And I didn't have any idea who they were.

I listened, as one does, to the conversations in the hope of getting a clue to their identity.

Then, when one was actually introduced to me, I still didn't recognise the name.

Of course, the usual happens on such occasions.

Someone had kept photographs from those years past and put a slide-show, on to their computer.

There for the world to see was a young-looking, short-haired, and tidy tender youth.

Mind you, all the others in the photograph were of a similar appearance.

We came away thinking whether those really were the days.

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