I spent the day with my best friend yesterday. It was the best day I have had for a long time. We have known one another 39 years, we mused, as I filled in the countersigning bit of her passport renewal form where it asks how long you have known the applicant. Thirty-nine years, since we met at university! I had just waved goodbye to my parents and was feeling a lump-in the-throat-moment on my first day, when she came out of the bathroom in our hall of residence and asked me if I was new too. We just clicked and got on well. It turned out we had neighbouring rooms too and were both studying foreign languages, so every moment not at lectures was spent in one another's room devouring cream cakes or swapping boyfriend stories or advice on studies. After uni, we both ended up in London and used to meet regularly. She was my bridesmaid, when I married. She is Kay's godmother.
She now lives on the diagonally opposite side of London to me, out in a countryside satellite town, so we don't meet as often as we both would like. Usually about once a year, sometimes even less than that. But we email at least once a week, sometimes daily, depending on workload. Yesterday, I caught a train which took about 90 minutes to reach her. A chance to catch up on news and have a good natter. Although we hadn't met for a year, there were no awkward silences. We just picked up the conversation where we left off, as if it were only the day before we had met last. Considering the problems I have at home at the moment, it was an oasis in the desert. A calm amidst the storm. We ate cream cakes again (s*d the diet). It was heavenly. Priceless. In fact she is more than my best friend......she is the sister I never had.