People come and go in your life, like dodgy haircuts and terrible outfits. But some people stick. Like the faithful winter coat that comes out every year, and the little black dress that never gets old.
I've been lucky enough to watch two of my very bestest and oldest friends get married this summer to amazing men. And suddenly it dawned on me, that we are in "the next phase." Life is full of phases. Nathalie I have known since I could walk, Deborah and Laura joined forces with us at the tender (ish) age of 18. We spent the next year living in each other pockets, full of road trips, road signs, road rage, road accidents and roads to recovery (Mostly Laura).... We invented our own jokes and our own codes, we spent every night doing something ridiculous, which is probably not funny at all anymore- and very probably cringeworthy and most certainly embarrassing, but at the time made us cry and ache till we couldn't breathe with laughter... A lot of first times and a lot of last times.
I then took the step and moved to the big smoke, and missed my bestest friends more than anything... The years rolled on and every time I heard Black Wire, or The Cribs, or The Futureheads etc a smile crept on my face and as memories came flooding in... I could reel off hours worth of comedy gold, but it would only be funny and understood by three other people...
This summer saw Nathalie first, and then Deborah get married, and I cried at both... It was that moment that I realised we were growing up, we are in the next phase, and I'm so happy that we still have a bond that distance and time cannot break. 6 years on, and it all feels like yesterday, it seems like two minutes ago we were taking Laura to A&E (again) for something or other, or calling Deborah's Dad (again) to come and help us with the latest car problem, whether it be to be rescued from the A1 or to change a tyre on the roadside. We can spend a whole year apart, yet when we meet up it doesn't matter. Those are the friendships you know are for keeps. The strongest and the truest.
So here's to the next phase, the next six years of a true friendship.
And to Deborah, Kris, Nathalie and Andy, a lifetime of happiness ahead.