I’m going to state the blindingly obvious. The weather is deliciously wonderful and it finally seems like we will have a summer. Best get in quick before it goes away again.
Instead of packing a lunchbox for work I’d have put it in a backpack, dug out a pair of shorts and my walking boots, and headed off to the Dales. Specifically, Buckden. I grew up with family holidays there and it’s got a very special place in my heart. Just driving up there makes me go all melty inside.
Doing the walk from Buckden, to Cray, then Hubberholme and back to Buckden never fails to warm my heart and zen me out. There’s something so soothing about it all.
It’s best done with just one other, in my mind. And the one person I’d like that to be on this day is my best friend from university. She moved overseas last year and darn if that didn’t break a little chunk of my heart. I miss her more than words can say but I am so very proud of her taking courage in both hands and making the most of the opportunity to do so.
But inevitably, just as life moves on and develops, things have changed. We can’t text multiple times a day with silly exchanges which would mean very little to anyone else reading them. We can’t be there for each other in the same way due to distance and share experiences like we used to. Lazy afternoons curled up at opposite ends of the sofa with a book apiece, one of us occasionally getting up to make tea. No conversation was needed. She knows her way round my kitchen like I did; when she came to stay I’d come home from work to find dinner in the oven and wine at the ready.
We’ve dug a lot of holes in my garden. We’ve danced til dawn and climbed mountains; driven across Europe, knocked down walls and done cartwheels on the sand. Camped and youth hostelled, gone exploring, yomped across hill and dale. Shared family and friends, clothes and make up. I’ve learned a lot from her about many things, including Scrabble.
There’s potentially a whole load of experiences ahead, holidays and visits to come. I know she’ll be there in spirit on my wedding day. I’m so happy that she’s enjoying herself in her new life; it makes me happy. Some friends are there for life, whether you live next door to them or they’re on the other side of the world.
And Skype is wonderful, but it’s not the same. So in my mind she’d be beside me as we’d stride out in the sunshine.
We’d talk about anything and everything and stop for a cheeky pint at the White Hart and the George. And share a portion of sticky toffee pudding with custard.
And then head home to relax in the garden, play scrabble and attempt a BBQ.
That would indeed be a wonderful imaginary day.