It's been a weekend of catching up with old friends. First on Friday Jordan was down in Eastbourne with her boyfriend, so we met up for a curry. Mum, Megan and Nick came too - and Ant joined us straight off the train from London. Mum seemed down - no doubt still sad about Peri - but she cheered up once the evening got going. It was lovely to see Jordan on such good form - she seems so relaxed and happy. Her boyfriend was more chatty this time too - obviously they are more settled into the relationship and it's bringing out the best in both of them. We went on to a new bar called 'Namaskar' - which was pretty empty, then for old times' sake - and because, let's face it, where else can you go in Eastbourne? - Maxims. It was a very jolly, funny evening, talking about everything (even babies!). I was driving, so didn't drink, but Ant was pretty tipsy by the time we left at 2am.
On Saturday morning (after a LONG lie-in) I woke up to a voicemail message from Paul Edlund, saying that tonight was his last opportunity to catch up before heading back to New Zealand. Ant was rather appalled at the idea of a third night out drinking, but once the worst of the hangover had worn off, he was goadable. So we wandered down to the Basketmakers to meet Mr. Edlund, who was sporting his Seagulls T-shirt and hanging out with footie friends having been to a match. It was a happy occasion, but tinged with the sadness of Paul's imminent departure back to the other side of the world. Re-affirming friendships is always good, but it's also very hard when you just get back into the swing of it and life and circumstance drag you apart again. Being with Paul brings back lots of memories - I was 19 when we first knew each other - and it's made me think about who I was then and who I am now. We've both changed a lot, and are extremely happy with how life is turning out, but both of us also having a certain nostalgic yearning for those wild days. After cocktails at Valentino (nice) we met Carlo in the Colonnade (Theatre Royal pub) and then Ant decided enough already with the beer and whiskey and went on his merry way. Although I was sorry he'd gone, it was a rare moment with the old gang back together, sans partners/kids/responsibilities, and a chance to reminisce and say a hearfelt goodbye, via the Pavilion gardens. I tried to persuade the boys to come out dancing and say 'to hell with responsibilities and plans', but they were having none of it - how times have changed.
Sunday brought another reunion with an old friend, when Kerry called unexpectedly from Oz, for no particular reason. It is good to know that people can stay close in spite of living far apart. Today I feel a strange mix of emotions - warm and fuzzy vs sad and spiky. I'm feeling the need to mix up a music compilation to capture the moment. Perhaps I'll send copies to my old friends too.