Tuesday, October 09, 2018

My mates - the 245 crew - #26

Jazz hands outside the Student Union

The weekend just gone has been epic. 30 years after we graduated from the University of Manchester the housemates from 245 Upper Brook Street got together. It took a bit of planning, not least because of the 7 of us who got our degrees in 1988, three live abroad; France, Hong Kong and New York, with one in Hertfordshire, one in London, another in Lancashire, while I'm the only one who's returned to Manchester.

What was so good, so life affirming and so warm about the time we all spent together this weekend was the ease. I felt comfortable, loved and relaxed in the company of guys who've been a part of my life since 1985. We pretty successfully stayed in touch through the 90s - weddings, a funeral, baptisms and a social whirl. The last decade has  - with some more than others - been trickier; we managed to get four of us together for John's 50th and five at Chris's wedding in 2016. But this weekend we hit six, which was good going. 

I just loved the stories, the reflections, not all of it necessarily good stuff. There was also something else. We've all taken different paths, but what's amazing is the similarity on how we've sorted the priorities of life. Our families, loved ones and friends at the centre. I love how everyone does something for other people, volunteering and fundraising for our personal passions. And not sweating over the small stuff.

So, thanks so much for making the effort - Dave Knights, John Dixon, Chris Lodge, Dave Crossen, Mark Sibley and hope we can get you on the next one, Adrian Carr. I love you all. Friends for life.

So, I thought I'd add them all to the my mate series on this blog, where I randomly shuffle my address book and talk about my friends, how we met and what I like about them.

My eldest son Joe and his girlfriend Jess joined us for a brief drink on Saturday. He's a first year studying in this great city, while the son of another mate of ours was with us too. If they can come through their time here with friendships like these then I'll be very proud and very happy for them.

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