Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Old friends....

It's been a while since I posted, hasn't it? Hello, anyone out there? .....Well, it's been a while since I read any one else's blogs too and I may appear to have done a runner.

But I haven't and after my lovely weekend, I felt driven to record a few things for posterity and for sharing and for capturing.

On Friday last - yes, the 13th - I unsurprisingly had managed to pick up some cheap tickets to travel to England. Since the summer, my friend Annie Relph and I have been trying to find a weekend to get together and it took us until November. But we did it and it was worth all the frustrations and impossibilities that had gone before. That said, the news from Paris the morning after I arrived was high on our list of conversation topics, even though we had a million and one other things that we wanted to say. And sadly, I don't suppose these events will be the end of the problems.

This probably about twenty nine years ago...
However, that aside; despite the six years that it's been since we last saw each other, no one would have guessed as we immediately settled into our non-stop ´stream of conscious conversation´. Lucky is the person who has such a close friend!!

Mid-morning conversation -
still in pyjamas..

Our plan - other than to talk and talk and talk - took an exciting turn just days before I set off when, through a facebook post, another old friend contacted us to say he wished he could join us.

So on Saturday afternoon, he did!

Not six years since we last saw each other but thirty. THIRTY!! And whatever amazing things have happened to us all in the intervening years, I immediately felt myself transported back to my youth.

We had a wonderful afternoon - not visiting the White Horse of Uffington as we'd intended - but curled up on sofas and chairs in my friend's lovely Oxford home, sharing reminiscences and bringing each other up to date.

In the thirty years since we last saw each other we have, between us, become parents to six children; been married just the once each; been on stage and tv, studied at Oxford University, started up two ongoing businesses, gained Masters degrees, become teachers and trainers and - I'm delighted to say - all confessed to being extremely happy and contented in our lives. There's obviously a lot more too....

(My friend, Annie Relph, is the most wonderful artist and now puts her talent into her business, Scattercake, making incredible (but edible) wedding cakes. She's just finished the most amazing piece of sugarcraft work imaginable and I have to share the photos here:

In case you were wondering, it's not actually a cake in its present format but Annie now has all the templates and ideas prepared should anyone order a 1.5m high cake.

It showcases her fantastic work perfectly.
Even more impressive in real life!
And as I have been writing this post, Alan has been delivering a TEDx talk in Leamington Spa!  The link leads to a summary of his very varied life and work and covers the thirty years during which we haven't seen each other. It also includes some things I didn't know - like the all-human  Circus Burlesque bit...! And I'm really looking forward to listening to his talk - 'Bringing Back the Licenced Fool'. He states that he started playing the fool whilst still at school and one over-riding memory I have is of him being sent out of the classroom....regularly.

I am quite sure it won't be the last time we get together. And we're hoping a few more friends will be able to join us too.

From Oxford, I headed northwards to visit my family and arrived just in time to go out for a wonderful pub lunch with my parents, my sister and my brother-in-law. I confess to enjoying my food, whatever 'type' it might be but there was something super-delicious about the dinner we had - very traditional, a British Sunday Roast with all the trimmings and possibly the best Yorkshire Pudding I've ever tasted! And that's saying something.

Sunday night was a ScrabbleFest. I play online with both my mum and my sister, so it was only right that we had a face to face match, which I enjoyed very much. I was quite confused by my sense of time. As it was dark soon after 4pm. I found it felt incredibly late by around 7.30......we seemed to be playing into the small hours!

I have to confess that I didn't take many photos on my travels. I was either too busy talking or doing whatever we were doing - although for some reason, I took a Christmassy photo of the place Mum and I went to eat on Monday. It seemed so incongruous as Spain hasn't really started working up to Christmas just yet, whilst England is in full flow.

And then all of a sudden, it was over and I was on my way to Manchester airport, where my suitcase appeared to contain a host of suspicious items, (like soap and a glue stick!) but soon I was back in the air and heading for sunny Malaga again.

Just a few short days, but I felt years younger and so very pleased that a) I am lucky enough to have such great friends to play catch up with and b) that for me, life has been pretty good over the past thirty years, but 'being here' is almost as good as it gets.

Thanks for popping by - I do hope to find a bit more time to read my favourite blogs again soon!