“School kids won’t believe it but it’s true when old people say they’re the best years” – Val Savage

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My time at schoolwas a lesson in how to be happy

I loved seeing the kids go back to school with their shiny shoes, slicked back hair, and crisp school bags.

Neither of them will believe it, but it’s true when old people like me say they’ve been the best years of their lives.

I loved every day of school because my friend Janet and I were laughing the whole time. Even during exams.

The day we did our math homework, we passed each other for a few moments after going over the questions and we both laughed.

We were so close, we felt telepathic, and our laughter showed that we both knew we were going to fail. Janet scored four percent and I got a point just for writing my name.








Students at St Columba High School, Gourock, wear face masks
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We still laugh about it today, but it proves that the best thing about school, perhaps, is the wonderful, strong friendships that can last a lifetime, as well as memories that bring smiles six decades later. .

Janet and I have fantastic plans to go out and because we know each other so well there is never any pressure.

She knows that if we make arrangements and my legs are bad that day, I will feel bad that I disappointed her.








Val drove his head out the window to Horseshoe Pass
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Instead, she calls every morning at 7:30 am to check how my legs feel. If we’re both okay, let’s go.

This week we drove all the way to Horseshoe Pass, with me hanging my head out the window to chase the sheep in case one of them wandered down the road and we needed to take them to the vet.

And we both laughed at all the nonsense, just like we did in assemblies at 12 – although now a good laugh, to me, also means Tena Ladies.

Our bodies may have slowed us down and our lives are experiencing more love and loss than they did back then.

But in our minds, we are still schoolgirls and our bond is as strong as it was then. And we’re both still bad at math.

Strange how onlythe best of buddies can be so rude …








Val’s friend Sheila shopped at Sainsbury’s
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Funny how good friends can talk badly to each other.

Sheila has been a steadfast help to me since the confinement began, bringing me everything from homemade baking to groceries at the supermarket.

On the shopping list I gave Sheila last week, I added a bouquet of flowers, but she arrived without them.

She knows me so well, she knew the flowers were for her. So, because I’m as stubborn as she is, I ordered her flowers from Interflora.

When Sheila got them, she called and said in a stern voice, “Why the hell did you do this? What were you thinking about? “

And I said, in an equally mixed tone, ‘If you had bought me the flowers from Sainsbury’s in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to spend a fortune on delivery through Interflora. Now shut your mouth and be grateful.

Only best friends can get away with talking to each other like this, because they know that behind harsh words lies true affection.

***








Strictly Come Dancing victory at the NTA
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Regardless of the NTA awards, I hereby hand over the VAL awards for the best TV of the year.

Strictly get all the rewards, because when the nights get dark it lights up our lives with charm, dignity, glitter and glamor.

Line of Duty lacks a gong because, although he was lectured by Jonathan at every turn of the complicated plot, even he felt disappointed by the ending.

The new drama Vigil stunned me because Suranne Jones can star in anything, even though the submarine is so dark it’s hard for me to see (and that means Jonathan gave me great lecture on why submarines are dark).








British tennis ace Emma Raducanu
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Piers Morgan would have received one if he hadn’t been so mean to charming young tennis player Emma Raducanu.

And while I love Ant and Dec when they present I’m a Celebrity, they wouldn’t win anything because they’ve earned enough already.

Instead, I would give their prizes to the Antiques Roadshow, not only because it takes me to antique fairs that I can’t visit anymore, but for visiting Britain and showing our country at its best.








Vigil stars Rose Leslie and Suranne Jones
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***

A glance at my garden proves that I have been snarling this week.

Next to the trees is a roll of duct tape. I was trying to send a birthday card but the envelope wouldn’t fit. I found my duct tape but lost the end of it. So I opened the back door and threw her angry.

Right over the fence and in the farmer’s field is a can of corned beef.








Val threw a can of corned beef when the key broke
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The key broke while I was opening the box, so it was thrown away too. I’ll have to ask my oldest son Jonathan to bring it to me.

My cell phone is going to be thrown afterwards because it drives me crazy when there is no reception.

I have put up with these irritations for years and I have had enough. Simple things have to be better before my garden ends up with more food and household items than a bed and breakfast branch.

***

It’s been nine years since I lost my husband Colin and sometimes I think he wouldn’t recognize me because I have so many wrinkles all over my body.

But while we both changed physically over our years together, it didn’t change how much we felt for each other because there is some truth in the cliché that l love is blind.







Val is still waiting for a response from Hollywood superstar Ryan Reynolds



So when I heard that a makeup expert called Charlotte Tilbury said that the secret to keeping the magic alive is to never let your husband see you without makeup, I thought: this is ridiculous.

If I told Colin I wouldn’t come to bed until I had put on my mascara and eyeliner, he would have fallen asleep when I got there. And my made-up face would have made a real mess in my pillows so I would have been in a bad mood the next day.

Husbands and wives see each other at best and at worst. A little lippy won’t change their feelings if those feelings come true.

***

I’m sad to report that Hollywood star and Macclesfield Football Club investor Ryan Reynolds was not in touch after I invited him over to my house for a cup of tea and a Blue Ribband. Isn’t he mean?

If you would like to contact Val, send an email to [email protected] or write to Val Savage, PO Box 7290, E14 5DD.


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