Warning - this post contains gratuitous sentimentality!
I just spent a long weekend with these people. To be accurate, I spent a long weekend with who these people turned out to be. The glamorous girls in the first photo were snapped on New Year's Eve 1990 when they were the ripe old age of 21 (could be 22, I'm never very good with figures. ) These days we are a lot closer to 40 than we like to think about. We met up to say goodbye to Stef, in the middle, who was returning to Boston after time spent travelling and being back in Scotland. The other two, Sam on the left and Gill on the right both live in London so meeting up takes a bit of co-ordination. We have known each other for nigh on twenty years and although we've all taken different paths we still remain firm friends. We had a whale of a time visiting the park, the Tate Modern where Stef and I slid down one of Carsten Holler's slides, we ate our body weight in Mini Eggs. There was enough talking to make ourselves hoarse as we spilled all of the beans that we had been saving for this trip. Lots and lots of wine and laughter and extreme patience from Prof. Tim who allowed his house and his peace to be invaded.
Best of all we got to hang out with the newest members of the gang, Gill's two beautiful girls, Nell and Esme. How could I not love Nell when she thinks that Archie is more beautiful than all the beautiful things in the world.
The older I get the more I value the friendship I have with these women, although in my mind we are still the same ridiculous wee girls that shared a flat in 1996 thinking that we were really mature because we were at University. I'm glad that we didn't know some of what lay in store for us as we crept into our twenties, then thirties and soon to be forties. On the other hand, we wouldn't have grown into the women we are without the bad as well as the good in our lives. And there has been a lot of good. It has been great sharing it all with them. The younger me would have been too cool to tell these three that I love them. I wouldn't make that mistake now.
When looking through my old photos I also came across a corker of me and Miss Frugality/Julia who I have known for many, many years. We are wearing outfits specially chosen for going to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Use your imagination and above all, be nice to your friends. You never know what dirt they might have on you.