Many moons ago, when I was a wee young thing at school, around 14 or 15, my friends and I spent most of our lunchbreaks in our form room. I say room, but it was actually one of those wooden huts that lots of schools use to cope with having large numbers of pupils but little money to expand.
I don't know if today's huts are better than they were then, but I really hope so. We spent hours in that space, in ferocious heat in the summer, as the sunlight poured in through the windows, making it almost impossible not to fall asleep during lessons, and frozen in the winter as the thin walls proved no match for the cold climate.
One particularly chilly afternoon sticks in my mind when we were, as usual, huddled up together like a bunch of kittens, snuggled against the only heat source in the room, a wheezing blow heater. We were talking about anything and everything, as you do at that age, and the subject of the best Star Wars film came up. Nowadays there's a never-ending list of prequels and sequels, spin-offs and animated versions to choose from, but in my day we just had the three films to select from.
My own personal favourite was and still is the final instalment in the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi - a fact that my husband says, had he known before he asked me to marry him, may have made him think twice.
How could you not love a film that has a tribe of talking teddy bears, the Ewoks, and the great reveal that underneath his scary, black sculpted helmet, Darth Vader was the spitting image of Humpty Dumpty? No wonder he kept that thing on all the time. I was making the case for this film being the best in the series when one of my friends piped up and announced that she had never watched any of them. Not a single second. We all stared at her for a moment before asking why and she simply answered: "I'm just not really interested in make believe."
As part of a generation who had grown up loving everything about these films, we were all a bit stunned by her nonchalance. Even at that age, one of my most prized possessions was the At-At Walker I'd received from Santa a few years before. A spindly legged combat vehicle, in the films they were used to transport the imperial soldiers around. In real life, my Walker had to be propped up against the wall, or else it couped, like a gangly newborn foal, but I still loved it.
My friend's indifferent response came back to me this week when I was on a Zoom call with my two best friends, one of whom lives in London and the other in America. They were talking, with more than a little excitement, about the new series of The Crown that's just started.
If you haven't heard of it, I have to ask - where have you been? It seems like everyone around me has been obsessed with it since it first appeared on our TVs back in 2016, telling the dramatised story of the Royal family, beginning in 1947, when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh married, and travelling up the time tunnel until this latest series which sees the romance begin and end between Charles and Diana.
It sounds like I know what I'm talking about but in fact I haven't seen a second of it and, like my friend all those years ago in school, it's because I don't have any great impulse to watch it. I have no qualms in confessing that I am a nosey person, so you'd think this would be right up my street, getting to see an imagined version of what has gone on behind the walls at Buckingham Palace - but not so.
I guess it comes down to the fact that I like a bit of escapism with my entertainment. It may be three decades on from that cold afternoon in our school hut, but I'd still opt for a bunch of Ewoks ahead of real life any day.