I consider myself very lucky that I have a large number of really wonderful people I consider to be my friends. I think some of them even like me back… Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been able to catch-up with some friends that I haven’t seen in ages and as well as fulfilling my gossip quota for the month, enjoying a proper laugh and getting that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’ve had a great time with someone you love, it’s also made me realise how much I love spending time with friends.
Now that might sound a bit silly, but let me explain. When Tom and I first lived together back in 2008, we lived in Cambridge where he had been a student. Several of Tom’s university friends still lived there or came back to visit often and I knew them all well. I quickly built a strong friendship with two girls I worked with in my first job and then when I left, I joined a large sociable organisation that often went out for team drinks after work. All-in-all we had a good social life – a quick cup of tea after work, dinner at someone’s house at least once a week, something happening most weekends. Then we moved to where we live now for Tom’s job and although, co-incidentally, one of my closest friends from university was also living in the same town with her boyfriend doing a PhD at the same university as Tom, we didn’t know anyone. I tried to make friends with my new colleagues, but it was hard (although I still see some of them now I’ve left) and we realised that we were going to have to make new friends as adults. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to do that, but it’s really hard. To be honest, for most of the time we’ve lived here, we’ve completely failed. And we really miss those friends who live just around the corner and you see frequently. If it wasn’t for Rosie and Chris (my university friend and her boyfriend) I think we would have become complete recluses.
At first, we made the excuse that we were away so often or had family and friends over to stay at the weekend that it was impossible. Then we had the wedding to plan and pay for so we had little free time and no money. Now we have no excuses. And Rosie and Chris are going travelling for five months in December. Don’t leave us, guys!
I think we may have actually found a group that might adopt us, through someone Tom met on a PhD course. We’ve done the pub quiz with them (and come 2nd!) and been to Wagamama’s together. Watch this space…
It’s also so important for us to spend time apart with our different friends. Don’t get me wrong, we both get on with each others’ friends, but we believe that one of the reasons we have such a strong relationship is because we spent four years with other people, enjoying different things. So two weeks ago, I went to Bristol to stay with my best friend Lucie and meet up with Martha and Victoria, whilst Tom went to London to see his university group.
And then last weekend we had my university friends plus partners to stay at ours at Rosie and Chris’. We had a fantastic weekend filled with a trip to see Shakespeare, a rowing competition, fun and laughter and lots of cocktails. Brilliant. And, for a treat, here’s one of my favourite pictures of the Derby Grove gang: