I feel really lucky in that I’ve made a lot of really good friends in my life so far, and manage to keep in touch with most of them with regular meet-ups and of course now online, by chatting regularly on social media. I have my school friends, most of whom I am still very close to and see a lot of, and then the girls I met at university, when I moved aged 18 from a quiet and lush part of Yorkshire to a housing estate in Salford. These ladies are like an extended family, we became so close during those years which looking back were a big period of change and new experiences.
Although we are all in touch and chat often, we realised last year when one of us, Shannon, got married that we couldn’t rely on weddings (and sadly funerals) to bring us together for reunions. Nearly all of us have been married – and I guess apart from me they are all still with their partners – and we needed to be proactive in booking in regular reunions.
At the start of the year, when January was looking bleak and our diaries were yet to fill up, we worked out when we’d all be free and booked a weekend away in a house in Derbyshire. You probably won’t be surprised to read that it took us four months before we could agree on a free weekend, so saved the date and started looking for somewhere kind of in the middle of all our houses and easy-ish to get to.
We settled on Derbyshire and soon found this amazing house at the side of a reservoir in Woolley Moor which ticked all our boxes for being big enough for seven of us, in a location where we could chill out and go for walks, and near a really good pub.
It was basically a trip back 20 or so years to when we shared a house, but in a much, much nicer setting! We just loved hanging out though and spending time together, having time to talk, listen to each other and catch up on each others’ lives. There’s nothing like letting your hair down with people who know you so well, having a laugh and getting some good advice on all your worries too.
We spent the Friday night round the dinner table in the conservatory, eating pizza and drinking prosecco, before getting up and having a fairly lazy morning on Saturday followed by a trip for a few of us into nearby Matlock.
In the afternoon, it was lovely and sunny and we set off for a walk around Ogston Reservoir, across the surrounding fields and pathways pretty much following our noses with a bit of help from Google maps.
It’s so good to get away from it all like that with friends, much as I love holidaying with my children it’s nice to have some freedom too, and some time to hold adult conversations without interruption!
That evening we ate at The White Horse just up the road. I have to say we chose it because it was the nearest to our house, but we really landed on our feet as it is a great pub with amazing food and really friendly staff. Hello calamari, grilled fish and Sauvignon!
We ate pretty early before heading back to the house for a kitchen disco with some serious 90s playlist action, all of us wishing we got round to getting together more often.
I know now we will have to make this a regular thing, the only problem will be pinning us down to a date we can all leave free!