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21 August 2015


this is a story about no matter how well you plan a day, it won't always go to plan. it starts with a decision to meet someone at a time that suddenly becomes near the time you end up leaving the house, involves a variety of beverages but not enough food, and results in a frustrating bout of insomnia - but thankfully not seasickness - but more on that in a bit.

donna and john had been planning to come to london for months - and i'd known their plans for just as long. however, because i ~absolutely love doing things last minute, i'd chatted with them the *night before they arrived* about catching up. that was probably my first mistake. with a few  texts exchanged, we finally agreed to meet at camden station "around 12:30" for a quick drink before i was on to my next catch up, and the next, as i'd had some errands to run and a mother-chat to fit in all beforehand. i'd checked with city mapper and had my whole morning planned. or so i thought.

~somehow, as it edged closer to midday and i was still just doing my hair i thought to myself, no, this isn't right... it wasn't. i was supposed to have left my house by 11:45 to make our date, and at midday there was absolutely no way i was making it on time. i frantically changed, did my hair as best i could, and rushed out the door - not a great start to a super-long day!

nevertheless, i made it. closer to one than the proposed time, but made it. the guys had gone off to explore some local art so parched, we headed to the diner for a milkshake and a catch up before heading up past the lock for some street art wandering. john is a massive street art fan and so had known that a few new pieces were around and so we went off to spot-and-snap before making saying our goodbyes.

short and sweet, but never a waste of time. in the whole time i've known donna, i've only met her twice now. hilarious, when you consider how often we chat, and how well we know each other, and the friendship that has developed between us over the last couple of years. donna and i started blogging around the same time - a million years ago now, and became fast friends through a mutual instagram pal (kim, if you remember her!), and finally met two christmases ago in edinburgh. that was the first and until-now last time i'd physically spent time with her.

it's hard explaining friendships made online to people who don't live online like i do, but honestly, the friendships i've made through this little space of mine online are some of the closest (emotionally) that i've ever had. i love my "real" friends fiercely, and i'm spoiled in the fact i can see these people whenever i want. but the time you spend getting to know someone through un-traditional methods forces you to bond in different ways. you bond quicker, and over more trivial things. the colour yellow. a love of second hand shops. preference to pink wine. silly things, but things that keep you close for years... even if you only see them annually.

and then there's laura. similarly, i have 'met' laura one other time. she's another instagram friend, and one i cherish dearly because she's a wise old owl, and delivers the harshest of life's realities with scathing humour and aplomb that you don't really question her words, you just accept they're real. she once told me a guy was a douche for making me question something silly, and he was, because she said so. also because he was, and that's not really a great example, but if you'd read what she'd written when i needed to read the words that no-one wanted to write, then you too would be grateful for such a honest pal.

we met in camden and immediately needed beer, so we headed to where any great pauper would head in case of emergency; wetherspoons, ice wharf. beer and burgers down, and we were ready to attack the markets... and by "attack" i obviously mean "avoid the four million tourists in camden that day by heading into one of the most popular tourist traps in london". so that was clever... eventually we gave up on shopping, gave in to temptation, and picked up some doughnuts from ~that doughnut stand that's right on the entry to the market. you know the one i mean.

we ate our doughnuts in the quiet and calm of the costa on the high street, chatting for hours about absolute nonsense and trivial things, like the meaning of life, why having babies at forty isn't so bad, and what's so good about being married to a man you love. you know, nothing serious. the hours with laura flew by, and sort of before i knew it, it was time to shoot off. she had a hotel to check in to, and i had a barge party to attend. more on that another day. we made our way to king's cross together before vowing to see each other soon and parting ways.

to be fair, i have no business in leicester - certainly not as much as she does here in london, but in my quest to see more of the uk this year, i just might take her - and donna - up on the offer of visiting. with the excellent foodie haunts in leicester and the incredible markets that pop up in manchester around christmas time, what better excuse is there to visit these towns, if not to see a friendly face when i'm off the train?

a thoroughly busy sunday had me thanking my lucky stars - once again - for my blessed internet connection. how was your sunday; anywhere as packed as mine?

*ps. this is my 1000th post ever. can you believe that? what a life.*

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