The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

You’re still The Ones

on November 14, 2014

I’m on a train in Staffordshire to take me back to Milton Keynes where Uncle Monkey will be waiting at 10.54pm. He is then going to drive me back to Hertfordshire where Sister in Law is getting married tomorrow. Then he’s driving back to his own home (that still only has a medieval bathroom) in London afterwards.

The reason why I’m in Staffordshire is because Mrs Cake Pops generously let us borrow their minicab for the six weeks and three days we’ve been back in the UK. Saving us a small fortune which we’re very thankful for.

Such is the kindness of the friends I have.

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People like Nana Moon who let us invade her well kept personal space for five days with all the mess, noise and chaos that comes with #1, 2 and 3.

The friends who have taken time out and driven some distance to come and spend a couple of hours with us. The friends who would have liked to have done the same but sometimes you just can’t make it work with all the commitments that we have.

As I sit in this quiet train carriage after a long day of driving from the north to the south and back to the Midlands again, I can spend an hour reflecting on how much I’ve enjoyed this return trip to the UK.

I’m looking forward to browsing through all the photos and reminding myself and #1, 2 and 3 of all that we’ve done and who we have seen.

Whether I am ready to head back to Singapore is one thing but I do know they are tired with all this gallivanting around the country. They are ready for their own room, school and all that is familiar to them. I would say #1 is even ready to have some time away from us too.

So in two days we’ll be heading back to Singapore and after sitting in an open plan train station shelter for an hour, I think I might appreciate going back a little bit more. It was really proper cold.

As pointed out to me by a complete stranger that I wasn’t wearing the appropriate clothing for the weather. Just to clarify I wasn’t wearing Geordie uniform of no coat and sleeves but I wasn’t dressed in four layers like him, including two hoods and a woolly hat (sans pom pom). By his own admission, he said he often felt people looked down upon him for dressing and speaking like a Chav. I must say I had reservations at first. But the kindness of this stranger who chose to open up a conversation meant that an hour long wait in the freezing cold passed by surprisingly quickly.

Every trip back we have managed to have a gathering of old friends. Usually at Uncle Monkey’s but not this time due to lack of personal hygiene facilities as mentioned on previous occasions.

This time, Husband and I decided to entrust the care of #1, 2 and 3 in the capable hands of Sister in Law to enjoy a jolly in London Town instead.

I Love London as you know. It was so good to enjoy a big London night out with Husband again after six and a half years. Quite a treat for us to spend our second night away from #1, 2 and 3. Especially after a whole month apart.

Even better to spend it in a proper pub on the Strand with old friends we’ve spent many such days and evenings with doing as much but a long time ago. We’re all now quite far away from our London youth. If we didn’t have children to get back to, then it’s the last train out of town to catch or a badminton league match on a Sunday morning.

That’s ok though because even if we only get just a few hours in the pub, it was exactly like old times. You all make me laugh until my face aches. I hadn’t seen some of you for a number of years but I don’t think that made much difference and that makes me feel good.

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I like how you’re still The Ones who make me laugh the most. When we left the UK, I was worried whether these friendships would fall by the wayside. Whether we’d drift apart. Whether you and I would have nothing to say, nothing to laugh about.

But after six years, it’s still the same. If not better as we appreciate each other more. We have grown up together through at least one decade if not two.

I needn’t have worried. So I just want to say Thank You.

Thank you for still being there even though I’ve been half a globe away. I’m very lucky to have friends like you.

So Uncle Monkey has just texted me to say he’s already waiting at Milton Keynes station, it does mean I’ll have to say nice things about him for a while.

I think I can manage that.

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