Days Like These ...

I thought I would work backwards, through these days and the people I've met ... writing of the people who have sweetened these days of transition.

An old school friend of mine had written to say he and his wife would be in London and they wondered if I could meet up for dinner.  And I did but getting home late from London, along the unlit country road, held less appeal.

No problem for them ... Paul and Lisa said they'd come my way.  And it was on. 

I've known him since I was 14 ... back in those days when we'd tie up the house phones, talking with each other for hours. Arguing about/discussing religion and all sorts of other things too.  He was the practical doubting one.  I was the other one.

But he was a best friend.  We never dated but I did get to ride on the back of his motorbike, and Dave's too.  And my very first memorable taste of being a photographer came from those days, when I took my then wickedly ineffectual little camera down to the Brick & Sand quarry and attempted to capture them dirt-bike riding. 

Paul has been a good friend through the years, out there but less present after he moved to Australia.   Although it makes me smile when I realise that not much has changed with us ... we still argue like cat and dog but we no longer mind.  He's a conservative, I'm not ... we get that the other can't help themselves.

These days have been so full, of packing and moving and worrying, that Monday was upon me before I had had time to think much about it.  And so it was that ... after a series of miscommunications that played out as Retrospectively Amusing, I found them and had the loveliest evening hearing their stories, telling them mine ... occasionally veering off into why it was Paul's fault that our plans to meet went so wrong for a while there.

For them, this trip had been about wandering through Europe.  Paul is a paraponter, Lisa a surfer ... although boardless this time.  They surprised me with news that they'd impulsively popped over the border, from their then base in Switzerland, and spent some time in Genoa!! 

We exchanged stories of that city I love.  It made me smile, as Clare ... the Australian friend I caught up with the next day, had also spent time in Genoa, with her family.  They had all seen why I love the city so much. 

And that's how it played out ... by chance. It's been a week that found me exchanging stories with Australians, and Australian-based Kiwis ... with much-loved old friends from school, and from my days lived in Istanbul, about the things they had loved in Genoa.

There are photographs of them both, someplace on my website but it's early morning in England, and I'm out in the garden writing again.  It's beautiful out here but conscious that today is another mad-busy day and I need to go dive into it. 

Jenny, the King Cavalier spaniel, is dozing under my chair and here I am, so full of stories I'm wanting to tell but knowing I need to get going, now that breakfast is done.

I hope life is beautiful in your world xx