The moment that Heidi came back into our lives and introduced us to Daryl it was surprising how quickly we all became friends. On that first day we met up we spent the morning chilling out swimming and bowling at the holiday park and heard from friends of ours that were away in Brighton celebrating gay pride.
It was a very last minute decision to join them. We didn’t know if we’d be staying the night or driving ourselves back to the South West. As it turns out we made it a day trip, I drove and it was a really long day. The road trip up there was fun, Lara and I got to know Daryl and managed to catch up with Heidi. By the time we arrived in Brighton the party was in full swing.
We met up with our friends on Brighton Pier and then headed off to the street party. There was a little drinking, wandering in and out of some of the bars, you could barely move through the streets there were so many people. I remember we all piled into a sex shop at one point, they were selling those legal high things. If I remember rightly Heidi and Daryl gave some herbal ecstasy a go with a couple of the others guys. We hadn’t arranged anywhere to stay by this point so I stayed sober for the return drive.
These were the days when it was easy to be happy. The shenanigans with Megan and Rose were already a distant memory. I remember my insecurities weren’t exactly put to rest, initially when we had started spending so much time with Heidi I did question Lara about her feelings towards her ex. I guess I wanted to know if I should be worried about them spending time alone together, since I never worried about it when it came to Rose and I should have.
It wasn’t long before I realised that Heidi would never see Lara that way again. When they ended Lara had hurt her pretty badly and although they could be friends now it killed any romantic notions either of them had for each other. That was all I needed to know. Also, Heidi and I were like two peas in a pod, we got on so well it was crazy. We had a very similar sense of humour, sometimes too similar.
I remember after we’d come back from Corfu with the guys Heidi, Daryl and I were visiting a friend of ours and we ended up playing a board game. It was a bit like charades but you play in pairs and try to get more points than the other team/s. Heidi and I formed a team together and we were unstoppable, the others actually thought we were cheating, the outrage!
I also remember that we’d all become close rather quickly. Our foursome was often increased on a regular basis, there was a couple who had recently moved from our area to a neighbouring town Laura and Charlie, then there was the other Emma who lived in the same town where we worked, though because we seemed to know a lot of Emma’s by this point we called her by her last name Potter, lastly there was another couple in our town that we’d see quite often that was Jess and Emma.
It was quite a large grouping of friends really. It was great to know so many people, it meant that there was always a birthday to celebrate, a night out to be had and some memories to make. I remember going out for Potter’s 21st birthday in Bristol, she arranged a Mexican meal followed by cocktails at a bar I’d never been to before. By this point Heidi and I had already firmly established our love of singstar and karaoke and spent many nights up late at hers singing to the small hours of the morning, I’m sure the neighbours loved us. I remember being sat in the Mexican restaurant and one of our singstar songs came on and we both just burst into song, no sooner had someone complemented us on our singing ability we went horribly out of tune and burst out laughing.
At the end of the year I put together another New Years house party. Many of our extended circle of friends already had plans but we’d still have a good time. Out foursome would be joined by Potter and her girlfriend. The night was a great success with drinking games ring of fire, one that I’ll call categories and of course ‘I have never…’ Categories was probably the funniest one, someone would name a somewhat obscure topic and you’d go around the group giving an answer for the obscure question. I remember the topic being French Cheeses, everyone gave it a good go and then it got to Heidi who said in the worst French accent ‘Le Chedair’ we all just cracked up, and the answers got worse and we all got more and more drunk.
By the end of the night we only just remember to countdown to the New Year, I had bought fireworks this year and we set them off with good timing. We once again had Chinese Lanterns left over from bonfire night and we had a really good end to the evening. A couple hours later my parents got home drunk and gate-crashed the party. We tried to get my mum to sing along on singstar and they joined in with a little banter. But not long after they got home we all crashed for the night. It was a good party, there weren’t many of us but we all had a good time.
Early the following year we arranged a birthday treat for Daryl’s 21st. The four of us and Potter would travel up to London to catch a show, he really wanted to see Wicked. I organised it as best I could, booked the hotel and we all set off. The first day in London was great, the drinking started around 9am, we bought a heat magazine (‘I’m going to London, to buy a heat magazine!’) and took photos next to all the landmarks near us, we had ice-cream in the park and posed for photos with ice-cream smeared all over our faces. We went to Buckingham Palace and Westminster, we managed to fit a lot in really.
I think if I went to see Wicked again tomorrow I’d enjoy it a lot more than I did the first time around. Now that, thanks to Glee, I’m more familiar with the songs. At the time I remember thinking the story was good but there was a lot of really high shrieking notes that made my ears ache. We went out afterwards to Soho but we didn’t really go anywhere or party the night away, it was more a quick walk through grab something to eat then back to the hotel. I think we were all too scared to stay out late and not be able to take the tube back to the hotel, none of us would have been able to figure out the night bus. We had a hard enough time finding the hotel when we were sober and in daylight.
After Daryl’s birthday we started to think about our next holiday. We wanted to go away for longer than a week, we wanted sun and we wanted to go somewhere fun and entertaining. We booked ourselves on a holiday to Majorca. We’d be going in May and it would be an all inclusive experience for 10 days, lots of entertainment included. Potter couldn’t come with us so it would just be the four of us, it would be the first of a few holidays that we all took together. These were the good days, I thought I had made the kind of friends that would stand the test of time. We were all close, we would have fun together, listen to each others problems, cheer each other up when we were down and mostly I remember laughing a hell of a lot.