Many moons ago a family moved from London to Crawley. The parents joined the local village society and became friends with a couple who had lived in the centre of the village. Both families had children who went to the local schools, and they too became friends.
One family was mine and another was the family of a girl called Paula. Some years later, having lost touch (my parents moving north when I got married, and I moved away - Paula was already married and at Uni), through the power of the internet the two met up again, and became friends on facebook, and although they don't see each other regularly today was a day when they did, as Paula and her husband came across for a cuppa and a promised piece of Christmas Cake!
So here we are, me and my pal Paula - 59 years on since we were first friends, and looking just as mischievous as we were all those years ago. We haven't changed a bit (she said tongue in cheek) and we shall both be celebrating a big "0" this year!
So we have done a bit of reminiscing - I think it was Paula that taught me how to climb trees! I was remembering a holiday spent camping with her family on the South Downs, and she recalled a trip to London, when we went to stay with my Nanna. (I am sure we were very good and didn't get up to too much mischief there!)
Not only were our parents friends, but also my brother and one of Paula's brothers were best buddies too. Unfortunately we both lost these two brothers early in life - mine in 1981 and Paula's in 1980.
I have Paula's dad to thank for teaching me a lot of the history of Sussex, as he used to lecture for the WEA, and my parents attended a lot of his lectures, and then "dragged" me with them on outings to view historic sights around the County - but what I learned has stuck with me all these years.
We have made a promised that we will meet up more regularly in 2014 - as we only live about 6 miles apart!