No pain, no gain
I just spent a fun weekend revisiting old haunts and meeting folk I hadn't seen for forty years. My old school (motto: Vincit qui patitur, best translated as per post title) has an alumni reunion dinner each year, and on of my classmates realised that it was a few months short of forty years ago that we all left. So after a good deal of organising (none of it by me) we met up on Friday evening in the pub up the road from the school (so often frequented....) before heading down to the dinner. And it was great. About a dozen of us, most of whom hadn't met face to face since 1973, peering at old school photographs, comparing notes on hated (or loved) teachers, finding out what we'd ended up doing and where, and reminiscing about the old days. The official speeches at the dinner were just a distraction, though two of the speakers were guys I remembered from a few years ahead of me in school (I sought them out later and we had another good chat (they'd both become lawyers, but we mustn't hold that against them).
On Saturday I pottered around Stockport, which has changed a bit since I was last there in the late 1980s, though less than I'd feared. It still felt like a kind of homecoming.
I suspect we will arrange similar reunions in future, though without the dinner jackets and speeches; just cutting to the imbibing of copious volumes of alcohol.