Today has been one of those days that happens very rarely - I spent the whole day with two very good friends that I have known since toddlerhood. We managed to spend three and a half hours in one coffee shop, reminiscing on our childhoods and teenage years. Remembering the adventures we used to go on to a place called Bishopstone Glen. The stories and ideas we conjured up as to what was at the end of the miniature valley and beyond the 'fairy pool' were endless and we never got bored of exploring there.
We laughed until our stomachs and faces ached at how we used to be - how we acted when we were frustrated, our little idiosyncracies that we have not lost, like the surprised look on my face when I trip over yet another bollard / fence / stone / small child. The stories and memories just kept on rolling.
At times it felt like there was no-one in the coffee shop but us and our laughter; at other times I was well aware of the attention we were attracting from other people enjoying their morning coffee / brunch / lunch, whatever stage of the day they happened to be sharing the coffee shop with us. I would like to think that our onlookers did not mind our laughter, and could tell that we were three old friends who had not seen each other together for too long, and shared the sentiment of just how good these times are for them as well - when they get to see an old friend who they've shared life with and truly, truly enjoy their company, totally at ease and revelling in just how easy it is to spend time with them.
When we were growing up, one of our favourite films was Now and Then - well, this was one of Katy's discoveries, but we loved it too. We loved it because it's how we hoped we would be in the future - all having gone separate ways, four friends come back together when one of them is about to have a baby. Even though they are now living different and varied lives far apart from one another, that tie of a long-term friendship remained strong. That is what we hoped for our friendship, and that is how it is turning out to be. The first one of our little group is getting married next year, and we are going to be her bridesmaids, just as we used to dream about when we were little girls playing weddings and mummy's and daddy's.
What a wonderful thing lifelong friendships are. I look forward to the days when we are in our 80's all old and wrinkly and still come together to laugh, knit, and share even more memories...bring on a life full of adventures that we might be able to share...