MasterM and MissM were both at home this weekend and it was like drinking from a bottle of old whisky, very concentrated and with powerful echoes of times past. The ritual is the same every time - read their post, collect laundry (MasterM), inspect book collection (MissM), 'borrow' some printer paper (MasterM), read The Week (MissM), sleep (MasterM), discuss holiday plans, eat MrsM's finest cooking and get financial advice from MrM. And then they set off for their everyday lives laden with gifts:
pot of iris
6 x Comice pears
bottle of Quarr Abbey cider
pink giraffe silk tie
MrM's ancient Barbour jacket
jar of Quarr Abbey raspberry jam
MasterM had been invited to play for an alumni team at his school and so met up with old friends whom he had not seen for a long time. It was very heartwarming to see how much he enjoyed this even though he has social networks in London and various points south of the Equator. This is the Facebook generation and they can keep in contact with school friends even if they are geographically separated but nothing beats an afternoon playing football together followed by a few beers. Meanwhile MissM and her school friends have formed a book group and they take it in turns to choose a book and host a meal to chat about it. I felt a brief pang of envy as I remembered how lonely I had been as a new mother at that age but that was quickly superseded by gratitude that they both understand how precious friendship is and that it is vital to invest time and energy to maintain it.