Well, they are off to North Kent which is basically the same thing (sob)! Still feels like the other side of the moon right now but that's because we haven't descended on them en-masse yet and demanded that they shower us with hospitality and entertainment. I mean look at the two of them. Who wouldn't want to be entertained by these two characters! That's Jo on the left in case you were wondering. Impressive beard.
Jo is one of my closest friends and a very, very bad influence. The best ones always are. John always insists that Jo and I combined are a bad influence on Ellie but I vehemently maintain my innocence in the whole sordid affair. I prove my point below. I had absolutely nothing to do with their 'singing' (or outfits) on stage. That was all Jo. And possibly Ellie. Maybe it's the other way round and Ellie is the bad influence on us. Yep, that's it.
Believe it or not, that play was a Shakespeare. Looks like it, doesn't it?
I'm going to really miss having them living so close to us for nights out (and nights in) with copious amounts of wine and gin. You are about to notice a running theme in the next couple of photo's. Can you spot what it is?
I'm sorry Jo, I shouldn't have done that to you. I feel terrible...I left out the tequila.
Oh god the tequila. I used to hate the stuff. It used to make me feel so ill, I couldn't even stand to look at it on a shelf. Then I met Jo. Now I have a distinct appreciation for tequila in all it's wondrous forms. Let me drink it with salt and lemon, or better, salt and lime, or even better, orange and cinnamon. Jo, you have opened my eyes to a world that is much more colourful with the addition of that little South American shot of amber liquid. Look at her, orchestrating her minions with the presentation of tequila shots, mischievous smile on her face and twinkle in her eye. I'm going back to my original statement. Jo is definitely the bad influence.
In all seriousness though it is really rather rare to meet someone you just click with. Claire, Ellie, Jo and I have spent many a happy afternoon gossiping over afternoon tea, surrounded by cakes and mini sandwiches, curled up on sofa's analysing the latest Downton Abbey (well, the girls analyse. I listen in awe having never watched it), trying to get the entire table covered in cocktail glasses in Bramley's, trying not to leak spoilers for Game of Thrones until we have all seen it, attempting to line dance in a marquee in a pub garden, having sleepovers when we have an empty house or reciting Winnie the Pooh whilst laying flat on our backs in the middle of the living room floor (ahem Ellie).
Of course there are the plays as well. After all, we all met through the Players. In fact, Jo was the first person I ever properly met in the group when I helped out backstage on The Vortex all those years ago, closely followed by Peter who was starring in that production. I honestly think that if it wasn't for how lovely and friendly they both were to me, I'm not sure how long I would have lasted as I was so scared and there were so many people to meet!
Both Jo and Peter are some of the warmest, friendliest and most talented people I know. They are also highly intelligent and unfairly creative as well. I don't know many physicists who can compose music and play the piano like Peter does and Jo has a wickedly dry sense of humour and an uncanny knack for getting right to the heart of any matter combined with a talent for cooking and a passion for needlework. And pigs. Don't forget the pigs. There is a distinct pig obsession in there.
Our girls weekend in Brighton is to become an annual affair and I can't wait to visit them in their new abode. It's very close to Bluewater, the huge shopping centre in Kent that also houses cinemas and restaurants and bars, so I think it would be rude not to use it as an excuse really! Not that we ever really needed one in the past thinking about it.
So Jo and Peter, I raise a shot glass to you, wave you off with the salt covered back of my hand and say "Bon Voyage 30 minutes down the A2!".