Sixty miles is a long way to go for lunch – but this was no ordinary lunch.
More years ago than I care to remember, I worked at the BBC in West London with Nickely, a woman as bubbly as a human Berocca. This Aussie dynamo eventually left the Beeb to pursue her dream of opening a dance school in Oxford (the Animator once designed a poster for one of her shows), while her marriage to fellow Aussie David, in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, remains one of the most fun, laid-back nuptials I’ve ever attended.
And while our respective journeys have taken us to all sorts of interesting places, they've seldom crossed and somehow we lost track of each other. But, thanks to the all-invasive power of Google, I managed to track Nickely down and so on Sunday we strapped ourselves into the Mini, made the sign of the cross and braved lunatic British drivers on our journey to Oxford for lunch with Nic, David and their cute-as-a-button sons, Henry and Rufus, whose blonde, sun-kissed looks belie their Antipodean heritage (despite the posh English accents).
Embalmed by the warmth of a shared history, we ate, drank, laughed and caught up on many missed years. I had forgotten how it works here – how this far from home, we create networks out of nothing. I had forgotten the strength of friendships forged in temp jobs years ago. And the realisation that time and distance do not dimish those bonds.
Thanks guys – we look forward to returning the favour soon.