Well, PGL trekker from 11 years ago’s response was: “I’m sorry – I don’t think I remember you.. Did you have longish black curly hair, and did we sleep together?”. What an awesome response – made my day! (she was joking, by the way.)

We swapped photos, and she did remember me, and we’ve been having a jolly time remembering all the crazy antics – it’s been nice actually. After I sent her a photo, she said “Oh yes – of course I remember you. You’re right, we didn’t sleep together, but I think we did have a drunken snog”!!!

Oh dear, I hope I’m not giving the wrong impression of PGL staff – the cardinal rule was always that wherever you were on site or there were kids (`guests’) around then you were on duty and had to behave accordingly, but after the kids went to bed and we all went down to the pub there wasn’t much else to do but to drink (and snog). I wouldn’t say that the staff slept around, but I think the feeling was that the only differentiating factor of being in a romantic relationship was in its physical expression – nobody had enough money to go out, and so the only place to go out anyway was the pub where everyone went!

I’m not sure she’s right about us snogging – I was very young and innocent then, and far too scared to indulge in that sort of activity… but I did fancy her, it was 11 years ago, and while I never really got drunk, I didn’t entirely avoid alcohol either. (that said I do know for a fact I didn’t sleep with anyone, which is why I can be so certain I didn’t sleep with her!)

There was one particular group leader (called “Sasha”) who was based down the road at Royal Oak, who I fell madly in love with, and wanted to be with forever! She was so gorgeous that I developed a complete mental block over talking to her, and for the entire season I just couldn’t remember her name – it was ok once or twice (“what was your name again?”), but after spending 3 months with the girl and STILL not remembering her name, it got a bit beyond a joke. In the end I took to grabbing the nearest member of staff whenever I saw her and asking “quick – what’s her name?”. They’d look at me pityingly and say “James, you saddo, it’s Sasha”, and I’d run up to her muttering “sasha, sasha, sasha, sasha” so I’d remember it until I said hello. Actually they probably thought it quite sweet that I had such a crush. I did write to her once or twice after the end of the season, but she never wrote back – ahh, unrequited love, such bitersweet sorrow (or something). 🙂

But she was one of these hateful people who are dead drop gorgeous (like breath takingly stunning), great at her job, fun to be with, always nice to people, and generally such sweethearts that you can’t help loving them, even though you actually want to hate them.

Mind you, I was only just 18, fresh out of an all boys school, and .. well need I say more? 🙂

But it is a lovely feeling when you see someone coming, or the phone rings, or a letter arrives, or you walk up to someone’s door, and your heart just leaps up into your throat and you half want to laugh, and half want to cry, and are just exploding with anticipation of seeing her, or whatever.
I must admit that getting married and living with someone does diminish the effect somewhat, but I still quite often run down my road on the way home so that I’ll see the missus more quickly, and I just love waking up with her every morning.. Yeah yeah, pass the bucket!! And although I loved all the excitement and angst of courting, I wouldn’t go back now.