Once upon a time I met a girl called Claire. We met at Junior school and took an instant shine to each other. I think the fact that we had the same size feet and preferred the other persons choice of foot wear played a large part in this. We used to swap shoes every day, and our friendship blossomed.
The years passed by, senior school came and went, careers began, and our first holiday together (without parents!) was being planned. This was when I learnt that a girl called Laura would be joining us on holiday. Hmmm. I had my doubts, I must admit, seeing as I wouldn't be meeting this Laura until we arrived at the airport. I wasn't convinced about a two week break with someone I had never met before. For all I knew she could have been a mad serial killer, or a purple alien from out of space. Or even worse - an Aled Jones fan. (Sorry, I couldn't resist putting that. I'm only joking, of course.)
As luck would have it, I needn't of worried one tiny bit. Laura and I hit it off immediately. In fact, we spent every day in Tenerife basking in the sunshine and each others company. Which was just as well really as Claire fell in love with a lad we met at Bobbies Bar, and disappeared with him for the remainder of the holiday. Funny how things work out sometimes.
After Tenerife, we returned to the U.K. and Laura and I kept in touch, and Claire and her holiday romance never saw each other again. Claire then fell in love with someone she met at the local pub. And that was the last I saw of her. I was upset at first, but then I realised being in love was obviously more important to her, how could I compete with that? If she didn't value our friendship, or my shoes anymore, then quite frankly she wasn't the person I thought she was.
In the mean time, Laura and I's friendship went from strength to strength. Another holiday together was planned (destination: Ibiza), night clubs were visited, parties were enjoyed, houses were stayed over etc etc. And I am very pleased to say that we are still good friends to this day.
We don't see each other half as much as we used to, but you can't keep going clubbing and hanging around parties and each others houses. I guess you can't stay nineteen forever! Plus she moved out of the area slightly, and every time I visited her I got rather lost. But we keep in touch over email and telephone and see each other as much as possible. Like today, for instance.
Laura has now moved nearer to my parents house (I couldn't contain the excitement in my voice when she told me this, and I practically squealed "I know how to get there!") So, confident that I knew the area and wouldn't be panicking about the directions, I left my house, looking forward to our lunch date. Jacket potato, salad, and lemsip at her kitchen table. Unfortunately the lemsip was for me, as I woke up feeling about 303 years old today.
As always, Claire was mentioned during out lunch date and the maggots catastrophe (believe me, you don't want to know about the maggots), and I admired pictures of her little boy. Yep, Laura is a mum now.
It was lovely to see my friend, shame about my aches and pains, but at least I found her house without calling for a search party. And now she is living closer, I'm hoping that the girl I had severe doubts about meeting will be a regular feature in my diary.
For the record, Claire married an M.P. whose political career and days of freedom came to a sticky end when he set fire to a hotel.
The end. Or is it just the beginning?
Picture of the day: