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  • It seems vague now, a long time ago and yet that was a night of perfect friendship like I’ve only had rarely, and yet I suspect I’ve had nights like this more often than most people get in a lifetime.

    I think there were twelve or so of us coming out of the last acting class before the Christmas break we decided we should do something together. We gathered for drinks in the Lock Tavern next door and despite the time of year sat with drinks in the beer garden out back for a while, it was covered over and heated and there were pretty lights and it felt crisp and Christmassy. We decided we’d follow up with a meal together, we were hungry and somehow it just felt.. seasonal.. to break bread as a group.

    Frances (Freddy, as we called him then) had, way back in his childhood frequented a small Italian place up the road. Marine Ices manufactured it’s own ice cream and had been there for generations, and with goodbyes to a couple of folk who couldn't join we made our straggling way up to the place and we were seated at a long table for a meal that seemed to last for many hours and reveal many things to us about each other. The facts are long forgotten but I have always retained the feelings from that night. That night I began to pay attention to Astrology for a while when the majority of the table seemed to be from just three star signs which seemed cosmically significant somehow. I think I just wanted more people like this in my life so I paid more to those with the same star signs afterwards.

    We laughed a lot. Freddy asking a bemused elderly waitress if anyone remembered him from his childhood visits was sweet, hilarious and strangely touching because she didn't. Ed doing some kind of nerdy calculation with the cost of two ice-creams, which, if you ordered them in a different way had different pricing, and the two of us collapsed with solid unstoppable giggles for a good half hour when I called him ‘Rain Man’ and my sides hurt from from sniggering like Mutley for so long. Kelly, and Jamiu shaking their heads and smiling like parents because they knew what we were like and they were the sensible, parental ones that evening and all evenings. Roland being laid back and just talking it all in, because Roland was always cool with whatever happened.

    At the end of the night my body ached from laughing and my mind buzzed with the conversation of these wonderful vibrant people in my life and as we kissed and hugged each other goodbye on the cold dark street outside I looked at them and didn't know if we'd ever be together like this again but I loved them all deeply and knew I would savour this time with them in my memory forever.

    I love them still.
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