Charlie came to visit last night. Initially she was only going to stay for the evening. But about mid-afternoon she emailed to ask me if she could stay the night and could I lend her a sleeping bag and a bottle of Rose from somewhere. So I ventured out, buying a sleeping bag and a good Zimphandel.
She arrived just before seven. Our plan was to book a trip to Paris and then go for a drink somewhere. We soon discovered that neither of us were any good at booking holidays; I got bored and dropped a hint by handing C the bottle opener. We changed the plan – Charlie will pop into Going Places later today. At that, Ricardio and Burien appeared at my window and we all spent a while on the grass mound next to the Astroturf. After the wine was dead, me and C headed back inside to switch everything off before heading into the village. We went to The Bank Corner – the new place in town, I mentioned it yesterday, and we shared a Chianti as we talked about old times. Our three years here were great and we had some good times. Charlie told me how everyone misses it. I suppose pretty soon I’ll be in that position and I suppose too that I’ve been putting it off. University life offers security, you get a sense of belonging here and of community. C rightly pointed out that I must leave it soon, and that sense of uncertainty I felt is something everyone feels. Seeing her last night reassured me, I guess. This friendships built here over the last three years will never fade, and will be like homely ports as I venture out into the world. Interestingly, charlie suggested her hometown of chester as a place to live after I finish my masters – an idea that I rather like and will certainly consider. Chester is suitably cosmopolitain, yet not as hectic or as dangerous as a big city.
We ate breakfast together this morning, and went to Crewe together. I had a meeting there and Charlie needed the train. Her visit was brief, but it served to reassure me that there are still constants in life, and things to look forward to. Paris here we come.