Last weekend I managed to finally see an old friend that I’d somehow managed to lose contact with. I’m rubbish at staying in touch with people and so is he, but I’ve been intending to be more pro-active in maintaining friendships recently and I made a little extra effort to get in touch. Result: Jo and I went down to Bedfordshire to see them.
I first met Howie at the back end of 1989 when I arrived at my first proper posting during my service in the Royal Air Force. I was a newly-trained and -promoted Junior technician and he was one of the Sergeants working in the Ground Radio Flight at RAF Coningsby. I made loads of friends while I was there but Howie was probably the one I hit it off with the most. I spent plenty of time with him and his family and I was gutted when he was posted in 1994.
I was posted away from Coningsby in 1996 but we’d managed to keep in touch every now and again upto that point. I got married in December that year and Howie and his lovely wife Avril helped move us into our married quarter while we were busy off on honeymoon. Bloody good friends.
I hadn’t seen them for about 11 or 12 years when Jo and I went to see them last weekend. It was like transporting the old Howie I knew back then into the present time. He was almost exactly as I remember him, apart from the results of a few too many visits to the local pie factory! It was like old times, I was utterly minted to have finally got back in touch. Avril and Howie just looked fantastic and we had a great weekend.
The reunions didn’t end there though. I’ve also been in touch with another old friend from my Coningsby days through that wonder of a social network Facebook. I’d had a really close relationship with a girl back then – a platonic but affectionate friendship with a workmate called Elaine. We kind of developed a brother/sister thing where we shared a lot of our lives together without actually really wanting to “step out” together. We even lived in the same house for a while, along with a couple of other friends.
I went to her wedding about 12 years ago and haven’t seen her since either. I’d had the occasional phonecall and Christmas card but had not actually managed to get to see her. Until yesterday, when myself, Howie and Avril and another couple I knew back then, Paul and Kyrie, all descended on her house for a little meet-up.
It was just brilliant to see my old friends again. Elaine has had a couple of children with her husband Lee, and Paul and Kyrie also had two kids. I was the only childless one out of everyone but we had a great time discussing old times and all the embarrassing things we all did back then. I was especially prone to doing daft things, something I’ve never really managed to shake off!
There’s a list of people we talked about that I would love to get back into contact with. I’ve already exchanged a few messages with Mark Trigg, Mally Walker, Al MacKenzie and Nick Connolly (Becky still hates you by the way!), but there are plenty of others around at that time that I would love to talk to. Mick Bretherton-Watt, Mick Thay, Steve Bellamy, Jules Buller, Mark Haxby, Glen Griffin, Mark and Jackie Evans, Phill and Sheila Scott and anyone else that knew me back at Coningsby: drop me a line! Leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you.
I’ve also got some old school friends to catch up with too. Adrian Charity – I’m talking to you primarily! I’m not going to let old friendships disappear, not any more.