I wandered into the bedroom after my bath this morning and found DM noodling on his guitar on the bed. It was such a nice, mellow image that I shot this pic before 10am – that’s pretty unusual for my PAD. I was so thrilled with the image that I failed to notice that I should have been beating him about the head…shoes? On the bed? GGGGrrrrrrr.
Anyway, for the first time in a long, long time I took a day off work today and we went to Plymouth in the sunshine. We had a bit of shopping to do and lunch out. That’s as rare as hen’s teeth so it was important to get it right. We ambled around in the Barbican looking for somewhere that looked nice – we’ve been burned by eating in the harbourside bars and had crap food served by disinterested staff so decided to try somewhere new today. We walked around going “no”…”nah”…”no way”…etc etc. Then we went down a different street and were debating between two places, one modern and one old. DM said he fancied the old one so we ambled along the side of the harbour and were just about to go inside when this vision of loveliness came charging out and flung her arms around me.
It was my Uni friend Jess. She was working behind the bar in the pub we’d chosen and, in a quiet moment, had looked out of the window and seen me. The rest you already know. She and I were truly the odd couple at Uni. She was 21 when she started her degree course and although in the early days we’d only been on nodding and an occasional chat terms, we became the firmest of friends for who knows what strange reason. There was just something nice about our friendship that managed to overcome the fact that I was older than her mother. In fact, I think she’s one of the nicest, kindest and most honourable people I know.
When we went on our field trip to The Azores in 2011, we shared some hilarious times, sitting on a concrete block in garden of the Azores Uni’s Hall of Residence, with cockroaches running around us, eating pickled quail’s eggs, nuts and crisps while sneakily drinking red wine that we’d decanted into thermos flasks because we weren’t allowed alcohol on campus. The two of us and Lisa sat for hours putting the world to right while our student friends came and went, stopping in for a chat or a pickled egg. I had hated the idea of a week away from home but I so enjoyed spending time with Jess.
She was terrified of flying and consumed vast quantities of horse tranquilisers before the flights then slept through them like a baby. It was during the flight home that I sealed my friendship with another student, Ellie, who I'm pleased to say I am still in close contact with, in conversation while Jess slept on beside us.
Sadly I’ve seen little of Jess in recent times because our worlds have drifted apart and we are rarely in the same orbit as one another now. It’s only the second time I’ve seen her since I left my Biology degree – the other was at the Martha and the Vandellas gig at Christmas. However, today, she invited us to her impending wedding and I am so looking forward to sharing her big day. We were the odd couple yet our curious friendship will, I hope, last on into the future now we have shared contact information and I will hopefully have a bit more time soon. Seeing her was kismet, a serendipitous moment, borne of us faffing about and being unable to commit to a place for lunch. Spending time with her has left me feeling mellow too.