Thirty years ago this September, I started secondary school. Last night I had the great pleasure of meeting up with five of my best friends for a meal. We began our days at our girls' school in total ignorance of each other but left good friends. This friendship has grown and grown over the years.
There are usually seven of us but one of our number moved to Devon and sadly wasn't able to make it this time. There's a lot of miles between Devon and North Kent and while she usually makes the journey, it is a long way to go for steak and chips.
Over the last 30 years we've been through the usual together - difficult teenage times of first boyfriends (now we often laugh about them), breaking up with those boyfriends (we cried together at the time but now it's hilarious - I shook one's hand. Who does that?), holding each other's hair back when we were violently ill through drinking too much Thunderbird on the bus on the way to the school disco. The usual.
Last night we covered a number of topics and as good friends do, they were fully supportive of my writing, interested in my novel, all wanting to know if they were in it and are eager to read it when it comes out. I had previously told them that Myriad Editions have given me a two book contract and have my mates' full support.
Are my friends in any way concerned that all this will go to my head? Not in the least. They're all prepared to bring me back to earth. Never any fear of getting too carried away with myself. Will we all still be friends in thirty years' time? You can count on that. They know too much...