30 years ago when working in my first job for the Woolwich Building Society in Worthing, a 17 yr old college lad came to join us on a weeks work experience.
Little would have have dreamed back then that 30 years later we would be walking round Australia Zoo together with our 3 respective sons in tow…..but that’s what happened this week.
From 1989 Malcolm and I ended up working together for 3 different companies over a period of around 8 years and became firm friends. It became a bit of a standing joke that wherever I worked he followed. Unfortunately however when I had my daughter 21 years ago he was unable to follow me out on maternity leave!!!
Shortly after that he made a move to a new job (all by himself!!) and it was the first time in years that we hadn’t worked together. It was in that new job that he met the love of his life; a wonderful fun loving Australian lady called Kelly, and within little over 18 months they had married and moved to Australia. I went to both their wedding and their leaving party and although I was sad to be seeing one of my best friends move to the other side of the globe I was also delighted to see him so happy and setting out on an exciting new chapter of his life. That was back in 2003 and we hadn’t seen each other since…until this week.
In the 16 years which have passed Malcolm & Kelly have had two beautiful boys who are now 14 and 9, and I of course have added to my family by having Cameron 7 yrs ago.
Malc & I did initially keep in touch via email, and this was later replaced by Facebook. This has meant that as with many of my friends it has been a wonderful way to watch their children grow up through numerous photos over the years.
When I knew I was going to be spending a few weeks in Australia this year I just knew I had to include a trip to Brisbane to catch up with Malc and his family. I was even more delighted when they invited us to stay for a week.
It is amazing how you can not see someone for 16 years and yet within minutes the years just melt away and you are chatting as if you only saw each other last week – that’s exactly how it was for us.
I wasn’t sure either if two boys age 14 and 9 would be that keen on playing with a 7 yr old, I couldn’t have been more wrong, the boys all got on like a house on fire and there were tears this morning when we had to say goodbye. I very much now hope that the friendship of the younger generation may sustain as long as the one of their parents.
It was a shame that the boys had to go to school while we were there, but on Saturday Cam was really excited to watch Malcs youngest son play in an AFL game, and was shouting “that’s m’boy” whenever he had the ball and telling him afterwards how proud he was of him! On Sunday we all enjoyed a brilliant day out at Australia Zoo. We have also enjoyed evening walks on the beach together and a lovely meal out last night in a local italian restaurant.
Saying goodbye is always sad, but I am happy that we all shared this last week together and all made many more happy memories.