I heard recently about the death of an old friend. Phil was never the great love of my life but we were good mates, good friends and spent a lot of time together years ago.
Back in the 1970s we shared a passion for Ealing Comedies – The Lavender Hill Mob, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Ladykillers etc and spent many an evening scouring the old flea pit cinemas of Oxfordshire to see them. Eating popcorn in almost deserted cinemas that smelt of damp and decay, but we were happy and laughing in the dark.
At the time Phil drove an ancient sports car with a dodgy starter motor. This meant we often had to come giggling out of the cinema and push the car to get it going. Then we would – literally – jump in the car and head off to his place or mine.
Then I moved away. We met and married other people but over the years had met up occasionally and were always pleased to see each other, a friendship that might have survived even better had we not lived 200miles apart.
So when I heard he’d died I was sad for Phil and his life cut short and for his wife and family.
But above all, to be honest, I was sad for myself – for that girl with the long blonde hair I used to be, the girl who could jump effortlessly into a moving sports car…