One of the things that I do miss about England (apart from my kids, of course) are my friends.
When I was growing up as a teen, I had a relatively small number of very good friends that I always used to hang out with. I don’t actually remember how my circle of friends happened exactly, as we went to different schools and colleges, but all I know is by the time I was about 17, I had some really good solid mates.
So one of the things I try to do when I go back to England is catch up. It doesn’t happen every time, but more often than not, I have some time with whoever is around
This year – I caught up with Alex and Maria and Rob and Corinna.
It’s been way too long (particularly with Rob and Corinna) and as always, the time was way too short. Still – I’ll take whatever I can get with these guys. They’ve grown up (just like me) now and Rob and Corinna have kids of their own – and they all played together, so my kids had fun too, which is always important.
Alex had arranged whitewater rafting with Mariah and some other friends – I didn’t want raft (as the kids couldn’t) but it was an excellent opportunity to meet up. Lee Valley white water centre was where the kayaking was held for the London 2012 Olympics and is only an hour or so’s drive from my parents house in Kent. We stocked up with picnic food and drove up to meet them.
Alex and Mariah were still rafting, but we met up shortly after with Rob and Corinna and their kids and dogs and waited for everyone to finish and dry off before having food.
After lunch we walked off to the nearest field to play rounders – a perfect English summer tradition. Had a ton of fun and the kids had a ball.
Time was up too soon and Alex and Mariah and I had to go our separate ways, but not before I’d quickly arranged to see Rob and Corinna at their house again a few days later.
They live only a few miles from my parents house in a lovely house that they renovated and extended themselves. Very cool.
First, we went out for a walk so the kids could play and we could just chill and chat
We had a lovely curry from Robs favourite Indian takeaway and then moved out to the garden, where Rob lit the fire in the firepit so we could toast marshmallows. My kids had never done this before, so Amelia showed them the way!
We chilled, chatted, swapped stories, showed old photos (omg, some of me..what was I thinking with the glasses I had when I was in my early 20’s?), and reminisced about good times with our friends (yes, Dave, Alex, Pat, that means you!)
The years melted away so it was almost like we’d only all hung out a few months before. Crazy.
Next time – I think we need a plan to get everyone together.
Next up – family.