Drink copiously to endure emotional goodbyes. Hot Tip.

You wouldn't wear this on your trousers.

Phew! I’ve got that out my system then. The disquieting feeling of two of your best chums turning up and announcing they are off to New Zealand for a new life gave us a real jolt this week. They arrived in Scotland to say farewell to their family and friends. Their family in Glasgow and most of their pals in the East.  They arrived to stay with us for 2 days.

What better excuse for a party? And party we did.

Night one Tuesday just the four of us and not just four bottles of wine. Yuk. Really we did acknowledge having known each other for nearly 30 years it is rather sad that we always go beserk on night one when we haven’t seen each other for ages.  The next morning was predictably quiet then after a day of shuffling round  our strength regained and a further 4 pals came round for an early supper and a catch up and a big farewell.

Not a good look for a grown man.

Take 2. Of course we did it all again. As we all reminisced laughed  I overheard Steve saying to George ‘Remember the time…..’ and George looked blankly at Steve and said ‘eh well no actually’  before piping up ‘ Ah but I do remember the time that…’ which drew a blank with Steve. This happened round the table over the course of the evening and we realised we have so many shared experiences some of them do get lost in the mists of time. Suffice to say through thick and thin, thickening waists and thinning hair we have born joy, pain, happiness and grief as a tight band of friends which will never change.   By 1am we agreed as life goes on the  only really important things are friends and family.

If you close your eyes we actually look like this

The next morning fragile once again we all hugged and said an emotional farewell to our friends.

So they’re off on their great adventure. Half of me was envious but now as I consider those pals who have seen me this far I realise thousands of miles  away from friends and family would be too much to bear. I mean without them what’s it all about Alfie?  And besides I am such a grumpy old slapper who the hell would want to make friends me with anyway? Warts and all we are   lumbered with each other and when I get to New Zealand (at this stage over land as I am not bloody flying)  I will have a ball, look around and drink too much wine of that there is no doubt.  But as I do so I will know in my heart of hearts the grass is always greener and for me Scotland will always be the greenest of all.


Writer & broadcaster.

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