Poppy’s Thirtieth

I think I had been needing something like yesterday to happen for quite some time. A week or so ago, my old university friend Charlotte invited me to join her and her family in Crystal Palace Park to celebrate her sister Poppy’s thirtieth birthday. Crystal Palace is only a short bus ride away, so naturally I jumped at the idea; it had been far, far too long since I had seen any of those guys. After such a bleak year and a half, a bit of socialising was just what I needed.

Yesterday, then, after stopping to buy a present and card, Serkan and I set off on the 122 to Crystal Palace. It’s quite a large park, and the paths aren’t very well maintained, so it was a bit of a job to find them. C had told me exactly where they would be, but nonetheless I was just beginning to fret when I suddenly heard a familiar voice cry out ”Matt!” I looked around to see Poppy beckoning me over to a large gathering of people, and then I knew I was among friends.

What followed was a lovely afternoon of music, dancing and chatting. Serkan stayed for a bit, helping me pop to a nearby Tesco to buy some beer and then taking the obligatory group photo, before taking his leave. I was then left to catch up with old, dear friends: Charlie is still the dizzyingly exuberant person I remember from uni; Hugh and Jodie were there, caring for their young son, Jodie still being wonderfully colourful and sporting an exotic head dress; Mr. and Mrs. J were there, looking well. Poppy herself apparently no longer works in Kidbrooke, but had found a teaching job elsewhere. It felt fantastic to see them all, even if we needed to dodge the occasional shower.

Charlotte and I had a brief walk around the park, by which time it was almost time to head home. The day ended all too soon. As I said, it had been far too long since I had seen those guys. Nonetheless, we resolved to meet up again before long, and C and I began to make a few hazy, long-term plans. At that I made my way back up the hill to the bus stop, feeling like the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel had just come a bit closer.

One thought on “Poppy’s Thirtieth

  1. It was wonderful to see you again Matt looking so well… It was a brilliant afternoon and we were so fortunate with the weather. The rain was barely enough to make my hair curly(ier)!! Till the next time Matt… Mrs J x x

    Liked by 1 person

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