A group of lifelong school friends are looking forward to celebrating their 61st birthdays in style this year when lockdown restrictions ease.
And for Lesley Livingstone, an NHS health care support worker from Newburgh, she is most looking forward to having “a few wines and getting dressed up” with the group, which has remained close since forming at Kincorth Academy.
“We all started Kincorth Academy in 1972,” Lesley added. “We were part of the second intake of what was then a new academy in 1971.
“We’ve all been good friends since we met, although we haven’t all kept in touch all of the time during those years.
“Some of us have just recently met up again. We really all came together again after Moira came back from New Zealand some 14 years ago – you could say all our reunions are down to her.”
The group comprises 16 women including Angela MacLean, Ann Park, Audrey Kirkpatrick, Carol Calderwood, Brenda Barclay, Carolyn McAllan, Helen Milne, Lesley Scott, Muriel Milne.
It also includes Maureen Burton Cruickshank, Maureen Tough, Linda McLeod, Lorna Murray, Moira Tait and Lesley Livingstone.
Lesley says there are lots of good memories from over the years.
And despite verging on 61, she loves the fact that none of them have lost their sense of humour or zest for life.
“We regularly laugh at things we did in our youth and, of course, things we got up to at our most recent days out,” Lesley said. “All of us together is quite a sight to see.
“We are all strong, independent woman who have all done well in our lives and don’t take ourselves too seriously.
“We regularly make sure we are all okay and support one another where we can even if it is just to bring about a smile, especially over this past year.
“Our favourite times would be school discos, playtime breaks, summer lessons outdoors, and Friday afternoon leisure time – they were always the highlight of the school week.
“Audrey, Muriel, Moira and Maureen T all took Anatomy, Physiology and Health for their leisure time because they were the brains of the group.
“The rest of us took up canoeing, bowling, macrame, orienteering, horse riding and photography because we were the fearless entertainment team.
“Other highlights would be our school trip to Belgium in 1974, Baltic Cruise school trip SS Uganda in 1974, and Netball team trips to Belgium, Edinburgh and Inverness in 1975 and 76.
“Kincorth Academy was a great school but it’s funny that the school trips were the most enjoyable and fondest of our memories.”
Having mostly missed their 60th birthdays last year due to Covid-19, the group have a lot in store to make up for the lost time.
“Ann managed to squeeze in a garden birthday between lockdowns last year, Angela went on a trip to London and Carol got a weekend away,” Lesley added.
“But other than that, there were no celebrations.
“This year, our celebrations kick off in May with an outdoor lunch – at socially distanced tables of course.
“Then hopefully in June, we will be in level 1 or 0, so we provisionally booked the Chester Hotel for a special lunch which was a replacement for the cancelled Perth Ladies Day because we still have the money for that outing saved in our kitty.
“I think we have all missed our get-togethers, and are looking forward to catching up with everyone and hearing what everyone’s been up to.
“I’m most looking forward to having a few wines and getting dressed up. Having a cooked meal and a good old chin wag with my great chums will be fantastic. What else would you need?”