Bon Anniversaire

 

Today would have been my dear friends 30th birthday. I will not be sad today, I absolutely refuse to be sad that he is no longer with us today, because I am sad on all the other days. This post is a little bit of reminiscence, for all the happy days we shared.

My dearest, beautiful friend, placed enjoyment at the top of the priorities list. All of my memories of him include laughter, I hear a back-drop of laughing whenever I hear his name. We spent a lot of time laughing, at ourselves, at other people, at the ridiculous nature of life, at our poor driving skills. We found humour in dark situations and hilarity at sombre moments. I often pulled stomach muscles from laughing so hard and for so long.

We photographed peoples ankles, (without them knowing) just for fun.

We regularly had what we called ‘Self Appreciation Days’. Whole days dedicated to appreciating ourselves and each other. An entire day calling ourselves nothing but brilliant, and believing it.  Indulgent? I know, but oh-so good for the soul! 

He was very tall and I am short. Hours of amusement were spent in front of the mirror, laughing at how ridiculous (but still beautiful) we looked.

We never had just a glass of wine, always a bottle, and particularly loved the Winton pubs policy of buy two glasses of wine and get the rest of the bottle  free.

We prided ourselves on being professional smokers, and would smoke ourselves silly. Each cigarette would be lit with much fuss and ceremony, inhaling and holding it aloft, instantly becoming more glamorous and sophisticated with the Consulate in our hands.

The local taxi firm was very good to us. Long into the night, after much wine had been consumed, we would call a taxi and ask them to fetch us cigarettes and bring them to the house, which they always did. We loved to greet the taxi drivers by wearing ridiculous outfits, including a hat, especially a faux-fur dalmatian one.

Victims of our late-night phoning frenzy will recall with bemusement that we used up whole tapes on answering machines with our various witticisms and views in general.

We lived at a hundred miles per hour, rushing from party to pub to party in a social whirl. But sometimes we would just stop, lock the doors and watch re-runs of Spitting Image, laughing ourselves stupid. Or write poetry that got more melancholic as we went late into the night. Sometimes we would listen to Whitney Houston’s Didn’t We Almost Have It All and cry and wail until our eyes were sore and faces all puffy, we thought at the time we were crying because of the deep and touching lyrics but really it was because we were drunk.

Once, we had to pay for a taxi with a bag of satsumas. This still makes me laugh out loud (I am giggling now) whenever I think about it.

Neither of us believed in the mundane, every day chores such as tidying up. We would simply cover up mess or in some cases, cordon off the room with security tape and not venture back in there again.

How we wished we could sing, though we were not blessed with such a voice. We won £30 in a karaoke competition for being so awful and were heckled throughout the whole eight minutes of American Pie, though it did not put us off.

Champagne and cider, red wine and minted lamb, lurpak salted butter and all things bad for you were consumed with relish. Having the music on too loud and driving too fast, writing offensive poems and using the work phone to make personal calls, staying out late and skiving off work, skiving off life, yelling and shouting and laughing our heads off, we did everything in excess. The world was there to be enjoyed and we did exactly that, it is a sadder and poorer place without him in it. Happy birthday to him.  x

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4 responses to “Bon Anniversaire

  • anne's-âneries

    Oh Michele, this is a beautiful post! Your friend sounds like an amazing character and you sound as though you have many wonderful memories to cherish. I love the idea of self-appreciation days and as for the ankle pics… Pouquoi pas?

    I am glad that you are not sad and are spending the day recalling fond memories. Sending you kisses and best wishes xx

    • skiingsaddler

      Thank you Anne, and thank you so much for the shout-out on twitter too, x

      I don’t know why, with the ankles thing. I realise how ridiculous it sounds but we just found it funny. I think we once saw an amusing pair of ankles (I cannot recall why they were amusing or even what an amusing pair of ankles would look like now, maybe one day i will spot another pair?) and that started us off. Can you imagine sneaking around taking covert pictures of ankles? Sometimes it was difficult to explain ourselves when caught in the act!

  • pissykittyslitterbox.com

    Thanks for beautiful memories you brought back to me of my days with Beth. Sometimes in the process of grieving you forget all the wonderful, silly times that created the bond you shared. I’m so glad you were able to experience that too. If we are fortunate in this life to find one true friend, that is a rare gift in itself.

    • skiingsaddler

      This post was difficult because I had to be really consious of not reverting to, ‘oh, if only he were here’ or ‘this is what he is missing’, mode. But we had some awesome fun and I wanted to share that. i am so glad it made you think of beth in a good way. Those memories, those little treasures will never, ever go and even after all this pain, if someone said I could go back in time and not know him and therefore avoid this heart-ache, I would choose to do it all again, exactly the same, x

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