Whilst back in the UK over Christmas I met up with more friends than I usually bother to which was really nice. Sherwood is a lifelong friend and I have known Sam since I was about nine and we always meet up every Christmas when we’re all back in town visiting our parents. This year we were out in our regular local pub on Christmas Eve when we bumped into Abby who was at the same schools as me throughout my 18 years in Market Harborough but other than a few Facebook updates I’d not really kept in touch with over the last decade or so.
As well as staying with my sister in London for three nights I also made my annual visit to Richard and Mizuki’s apartment in North London to catch up with them. I met Richard (above) through my work back in 2005 and a few years later I met his better half who became his wife. I spent a couple of nights with them (below) and a couple of nights with Marchy down in south-east London in the New Year. He is another friend who I’ve known since meeting in the boy scouts in the mid-late 1980’s and by chance we ended up in the same class at secondary school (along with the aforementioned Sam and Abby). He even followed (?) me on up to Hull a year after I had started University there.
On my trip up to Scotland I stayed with ‘Willy’ Steve who was a mate towards the end of my university days (although we did meet during our first year in Hull) and in the years after that when our Uni crew often met up for drunken nights out in Leeds where he lived back then in the late 90’s. Back in England a few days later I was on the train going to London when I bumped into another old mate from Primary school in the form of Richard (above) who I hadn’t seen for years and years. I was on my way to the capital city to fly back to Tokyo the day after but first I met up with two ex-colleagues. First was Bridget (below) who I worked with in 2007-2008 which was a great laugh and we became good friends and vaguely stayed in touch with each other over these last few years. We had lunch and a couple of drinks in Clapham before I moved on to Kingston where I had a couple more (and very expensive) drinks with James who only left Japan a few months ago.
It was really great meeting up with all of these people as well as my family and I will try and make more effort to see them and some other friends the next time I’m back in my homeland.