Friday was my last day at the office, where I had pleasant farewells, a card and gift. I left half an hour after I meant to simply because you keep finding one more thing you were working on and didn't finish, to pass on. Plus people want to hear what you'll be up to, so they stop you for a chat or come by your desk. I got hardly anything done, but they said that was alright.
Finally tore myself away, forgot to hand in my access card, and asked the front desk to let me out not knowing it was in my bag.
Once out on the street, I felt dazed. I couldn't believe I wasn't going back. Now, if this is how I feel after working there for only a few months, imagine when I leave somewhere after a few years.
Then I went off to my oldest/bestest friend's house to see Lydia, her Mum, twin brother, and Dad. Their house, let me tell you, is a little gem. It's so pretty and so cute. Every room is spotless, tastefully decorated, and the walls emanate peace and love. I even went to the loo and didn't want to leave!
After a couple of hours of chatting and giggling, we went to meet our mutual friend Angela. It was a triple celebration - Lydia's new project at the BBC, Angela's completion of her child studies course, and my farewell. Despite being old friends, Lyds and I gradually lost touch with Angela after she married and had her two kids. Last year for my birthday, Angela and I met up for the first time in a decade. Yes, it took me an entire year to manage this meetup since in the last year Lyds has been touring all over, studying a short course, and sometimes working 7 days a week, and Angela has been studying full time and bringing up her boys, one of whom was diagnosed with epilepsy earlier this year (it is thankfully under control after a trying few months).
Both their lives have settled down now, and ironically just when I leave Lydia gets a job a couple of stops from where I was working, and on the same 10am - 6pm schedule as I was on! What can you do...???
Anyway, we three girls ate yummy Thai food, were the last out of the restaurant, and when we left they gave us each a carnation wrapped in cellophane and finished with a curly ribbon. At one point I tuned out of the conversation, watching Lyds and Ange chatting away, and I felt sad that we hadn't been able to do this more often. But once again, what can you do???
Tomorrow I am going to Lydia's house again for some of her Mum's gorgeous Greek food. I've known this lovely family for nearly as long as my own. I don't even remember meeting Lydia, but it was at nursery so we may have been 2 or 3. I'm just as close with her brother Anthony. They call me "the other sibling". And so I call their mum Aunty, or Thia in Greek. Whenever my Mum went to hospital (she nearly died in the mid-80s), Thia would come and pack a bag and take me away, and the twins, being artistic, would create lovely hand drawn get well cards. Lyds and I would be afraid of the dark together, and we both remember the one night we imagined we saw a pair of red eyes in the halway. (Brrrr, just thinking of it gives me goosebumps.) Then Dad would pick me up when Mum was discharged, but I never wanted to go back home. I would sulk for the rest of the day. I now realise this wasn't fair on my poor Mumsy.
After nursery, Angela joined our school. Lydia and Angela and I were close. Other girls came and went, but it was always us. But Lyds and I were the core, inseperable. The teachers usually muddled our names up in class, and we even started ballet together. Still, undergoing the usual social development, we three would "break up and make up" in various combinations. Then we would pass "love notes" in class: "Are you still my freind?" (Angela always switched the i and e.) Lydia swears I came up with the idea of Yes and No boxes. Of course they always ticked the Yes box.
Here are the twins at my birthday celebration last year:
Alors, je suis finis. Would you believe I started this post with nothing to say?