•dear my little sophia•

oh my little Sophia. happy, happy birthday to you. i cant gift you nice things in person and we can’t get tipsy and dance on the high street but i can write you your letter to let you know how important and special you are to me. so here we go.

Dear Sophie, (or Sophia as i have called you since forever ago)

please forgive me for taking so long to write this letter to you. you really should have been one of the first but for some reason i couldn’t write it. each time i sat down to write to you i couldn’t find the words. charge that to my head and not my heart.

i still remember the first time we met… this shy teenager turning up to a group interview at mothercare (rip). denise was adamant on hiring you… i thought you were too quiet… she told me to remember how shy i had been at the beginning and how I had blossomed… so we hired you and i’m really bloody glad we did!

(disclaimer: she definitely didn’t say i blossomed, i’m sure it was more along the lines of ‘now you don’t shut up’ … oops)

it’s been about 8 years since we met and i honestly say that my life is infinitely better for the Sophie shaped addition to my life. i don’t’ remember when we went from boss/employee to pals; it kinda feels like we’ve always been like this. i can not imagine my life without you now. who would have thought that little one would become so very important to me? you are the little sister i never had and i wouldn’t have it any other way.

you (and leanne, hi leanna, yes, i love you too) are one of my favourite people in the world and i’m not sure i tell you enough. your friendship is unconditional; you just let me be the weirdo i am deep down and you never make me feel ‘less than’ for any of my flaws – you do of course take the piss out of them at the appropriate time which is all part of the privilege of being a best friend.

you have been by my side through the biggest transitions and heartbreaks in my life and given me some of the best advice. if there is ever a dilemma, i always come to you because you give me advice that always hits home. you always give me food for thought; you’re supportive but you’re also not afraid to tell me if i’m being a bit of a dick. we ALL need people like that in our lives! i hope that i have been able to provide that to you too. in the times you didn’t know what to say you told me just that but didn’t ignore the pain i was feeling. you just let it sit with us like an unwanted dinner guest until i’d had enough of it and got the strength to finally tell it to fuck off. that’s not an easy thing to do or deal with, so thank you.

one of the things i admire the most about you is your bravery. yes, you my little cherub are brave. you feel the fear but you do it anyway. i so wish i possessed that trait. your life is going to be so much better because of this; know that i will always be on the sidelines cheering you on. oh the places you’re going to go! i cant wait.

now i have started this letter i’m kind of finding it hard to stop writing but i will because it’s now verging on an eassy but I just have to say 2 more things i love about our friendship.

  1. that no matter how much time has passed we just pick straight up where we left off’ there is no hard feelings that it’s been 75 days since our last catch up. it just it what it is.
  2. how much we laugh. normally we’re embarrassing Leanne – remember Disney. HAH.

you are a ball of loveliness and you’ve got me forever.

i love you, squirt

xoxo M

 

 

• Mummy Cheese •

Mummy Cheese.

You’re my day 10.

1. I miss you

2. I love you

3. I miss you

Please come back to me.

One of the BEST things to come out of my time at Mothercare. Swear down. I miss calling you after conference calls on a Tuesday to have a chat and occasionally advise you on what to do when a pigeon gets stuck in the shop (RIP Clive).

I got the good vibes from you the first time I met you. Region 9 (I think) meeting in Maidstone. You were the new kid and you walked in with your backpack and I was like “she’s my people, she likes backpacks!!” (honestly, I know, I’m weird)

Since then you’ve just gone up even further in my estimations.

You’re such a support to me, you help me cut through all the noise and remind me to pick the weeds from my garden (so to speak). You say the things I need to hear, even when I’m not really ready to hear or accept them. You just keep saying it until it sinks in and I go ‘you were right’ and you smile and say ‘I know’.

I know that you always have my back. Please know I always have yours.

We have the same (excellent) taste in music and I always looked forward to the conferences/ xmas parties / leaving do’s because I knew we would be on the same team asking the DJ for a bit of Dizzee or old garage chooons.

You love of a good pun is the cherry on top of the cake.

You are beautiful, inside and out, and can rock that Pixie cut in a way that no one else can. You have no idea how jealous that makes me.

I love how much you love your new job.

I love that they are recognising your greatness. You deserve it. I feel like you’ve found your place there and it’s so amazing to hear about and see.

My only issue is that it means we aren’t working together. Please can we work together again?! Some day in the future? Purleeeeaseeee.

Love you, Rachel.

Thanks for being my pal.

xoxo M

• Steph •

Stephanie Hall.

You Goddess.

When I try and describe my friends it’s always a hard thing to do because there are always so deliciously complex that to only use one word / one phrase would do them an injustice.

You are no different.

The best way I can describe you is this though – you’re the inner voice everyone should have.

You know how fuck boys always have a habit of coming back just as you’ve moved on? Well you always seem to have a habit of checking in just when I am about done with life and all it’s shit. How do you knoooow??? LITERALLY.

I still remember the first time I met you, just a couple of small town girls, living in a small town world (Big up Guildford). You and Gemma both got the job at Mothercare and told Diane that you didn’t know each other… then spent your first shift walking around the floor together. I remember saying to Huma “they’re obviously mates”. Didn’t hide it well, hun 😂

Then there was the jumper out the back (that was pretty traumatic) but you were just as nosy and me about it and I knew then you were just like me.

You were always down for a laugh and weren’t scared of making a fool of yourself for it and I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU. This probably sounds rude but I’m gonna say it anyway – you wouldn’t expect someone so hot to be so funny. You’re bloody hilarious.

We’ve come along way from cleaning porches on a Sunday and being sung to by the homeless folk of Guildford (he was right, you are beautiful) and I’m so glad I’ve got to stand by the sidelines and watch you blossom into a kind hearted, successful, beautiful woman.

Instagram has such a filter on it and I know behind the happy grins and ‘carefree’ life on those squares there is a lot of hard work and effort that allows you to enjoy the best of what life has to offer. You deserve all of it and so much more.

You are such a force and I’m so glad I get to feel that in my world (sounded less dodgy in my head lol)

Keep on being you, because you are just wonderful.

I love you.

M xoxo

• Byng •

Day 7.

My Byngalyng.

I adore you.

That’s all.

No, I’m just messing with you, but I do. I really do.

You are, most probably, the funniest person I know and you have definitely taught me how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself and how much more fun life is when you laugh your way through it. Any afternoon spent with you is an ab workout. Everyone needs a friend like Byng!! (They can’t actually have you though because you’re mine and I don’t like to share too much)

One of the most genuine, kind hearted people I know. I’m so glad you’re my friend. So supportive and so easy to get along with. I do not know anyone that has a bad word to say about you. We all know I’m a bit like marmite – people either love me or hate me, but you, you’re like chocolate. EVERYONE LOVES YOU.

Always up for an adventure, be it to Norfolk or LA. Some of my favourite memories over the last decade are with you and because of you.

Shout out to that time walking down Venice Beach –

“You in the black! The sun is not your friend”

What a dick.

Thanks for sticking around.

I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years look like.

Love you, peanut cup

M xoxo

• Diane Alice Lorraine •

Day 3. Letter 3.

Diane Alice (Lorraine) Dalby.

Well, this is an odd one to write because although I know you know how much you mean to me, I don’t think I’ve actually ever told you. What a dick.

If you’d have asked 17 year old me if my first ever manager would become one of the most important people in my life I’d have probably told you to fuck off but somehow it happened.

To think I hated you when we first met properly.

I remember leaving the interview at Mothercare and saying to my mum on the phone “I really hope I get that job” and then you called me 3 days later to offer me the job. Little did I know that I was signing up for 12 years of fun (there was a lot shit too but I choose to only remember the fun).

Then you fucked off to another store for a few months, came back and I hated you.

I remember being sat in the staff room on those god awful brown chairs opposite the white board and you asked me about my shifts… I thought “who’s this? She’s never here and she’s asking ME about MY shifts” Bit big for my boots really. The team always blame you for turning me into a monster but I think it was always there, you just bought it to the surface.

Slowly though, I realised you’re actually alright, a bit mad, but alright. This one’s a keeper. You took a chance on me and gave me my career. One that I actually love (we all know you have to love retail to work in it long term).

I don’t remember when you moved from boss to friend, it just feels like it’s always been that way now. It’s been nearly 13 years. I’m still waiting for my medal for putting up with you, Duncan did promise me one?!

Little known fact about you: you are pretty much the reason I’m alive now. I know that sounds dramatic but you’ve seen me through 3 depressive episodes and, unknown to some, the last one I was suicidal. You talked me down from that train platform, from afar. Without you on the end of the phone when I was stood on that platform I definitely wouldn’t be here. I literally owe you my life. I’m so glad you did that because I actually love my life and I wasn’t ready to die. I was just so ill I couldn’t remember that. You made me remember.

So cheers for that. Nice one.

Life coach. Therapist. Advice giver. Belly laugh inducer. You literally tick all the boxes of what it means to be a bloody brilliant friend. You’ve never tried to change me, ever. You just accepted me for the weirdo I am and honestly you probably know me better than anyone else in my life so that’s saying something.

You have played such an important part in my finding my voice and navigating this weird world and helping me realise that no one ever has it all figured out. I even like that you don’t always agree with me (you always point out when I’m wrong, not that it happens much, obvs 😉)

I don’t think there will ever be enough thank you’s really.

I’m so glad you’re off having your adventures with Dunc now, even if it means I don’t know when I’ll see you next. Though I do know that I can’t wait for the stories because there are bound to be some fucking brilliant ones 😂

I’m not sure anything will ever top the story of Andrea on the roof though!

Adventure is out there.

Love you, Dalby.

Mickey D’s xoxox

Trust.

 

Listening to: Kelly Clarkson ‘Breakaway’ (what a banger of an album)

 

 Hi friends,

This week I have a question to ask you.

Can you still be friends with someone who you don’t trust?

You’ve probably heard the saying (or a version of it) that trust is like a mirror, once it is shattered it can be put back together but never truly repaired. Side note: I think my favourite version is Gaga in her ‘Telephone’ video –

 Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 20.54.03

 

The only problem I have with that explanation of trust/ broken trust is that it’s always led me to believe that, and expect that, my trust would always be shattered in a big way. Like the person would pick up our shared mirror and smash it like a plate at Greek wedding but that isn’t always what happens. Sometimes it’s little chips over time until one of these chips is so big that it causes a ripple effect and you find yourself unable to see your reflection in the mirror, or be able to trust the person who’s mirror it is.

Part of being friends with someone is being able to rely on each other; to trust them. You should know whole heartedly that they won’t run off and tell someone what you said, they should know you enough to know the things that shouldn’t be shared. You should be able to know that some things are only shared between you; some things aren’t meant to be shared. What is possibly even worse than sharing private thoughts and feelings is sharing thoughts and feelings with a twist – sharing a fabricated, sometimes exaggerated, version of the truth. You shouldn’t have to watch what you say to your friends, you shouldn’t have to have your guard up. Should you?

How can you be friends with someone you can’t trust?

Are we, or rather am I, too quick to call people my ‘friend’?

A couple of years ago someone who I definitely do trust called me out on how much I use the word ‘love’. I didn’t ever ‘like’ it, I always ‘loved’ it. It was a great observation, and made me realise that I DID use the word ‘love’ too much. Perhaps the same could be said of the word ‘friend’, perhaps I use it too freely, perhaps I use it too much, or too quickly.

Perhaps the word ‘friend’, like the word ‘love’, should be used sparingly.

xoxo

M

feeling the love

oh hey.

it’s 6am in LA. I can’t sleep. so y’all are getting a post (2 in as many days #sorrynotsorry)

so, quick background on where i’m staying and who i’m staying with.

one of my best friends from university (hey, Jade) is from LA. Her mom (Momma Sophs) dad (Wilf) and god mom (Lisa) all live together in a beautiful house (her dad did a beaut of a job on it, he’s so talented). I’m staying with / visiting them. Jade isn’t here- she lives in Finland with her fella. My Irish pal is here too, though. I know, I know… it’s complicated.

i’ve know Jade for 9 years nearly, and her folks for maybe 6/7 of those. They have all known me during my struggles with depression and anxiety, they housed me for a summer so Jade and I could road trip west coast >> east, they housed me this January  when I had my breakdown over going to Australia or not. 

they know me well.

they know not to talk to me in the morning because I’m grumpy. They know I’m pretty laid back about most things – one of the reasons Jades mom likes to travel with me. They know I can be a sarcastic little shite. They know I’m obsessed with music; if I’m not listening to it, I’m reading about it. If I’m not reading about it, I’m singing. 

when I come here to visit it feels like a home from home. I feel so relaxed, there’s no pretense, no bullshit. 

they remind me that friends really are the family we choose for ourselves. I think to myself on every trip how did I luck out and meet Jade and then gain an extra family? a family that is genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

yesterday morning I was in the kitchen and Momma Sophs and I had this conversation 

S “Oh I’m glad you’re here by yourself, I wanted to talk to you alone”

M “ok, whats up?”

S “are you ok, sweetie? You’re not feeling anxious, your depression hasn’t come back?”

M “no, I’m ok at the moment. Maybe a bit anxious with work but I’m fine”

S ” ok good, I just wanted to check because you’ve been really quiet this whole trip and I was really worried”

DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY AND LOVED I FELT WALKING AWAY FROM THAT CONVERSATION? 

Having conversations like that with anyone that has a history of mental illness is so, SO important. 

Knowing someone is looking out for you… priceless. 

This email from the universe is true 

I’m feeling the love 

Xoxo micks 

Thank you for being a friend.

Hi guys and dolls,

I hope this finds you all well. I’m currently sat on my bed in my pants, half singing/ half crying along to Maren Morris (totes emosh, hun) and eating Marmite on toast for dinner because I clearly suck at adulting.

In the last post I shared I spoke about how life had been a bit of a shitter lately,  well my very best friend in the whole world knew I’d been having a shit time and decided to book me a wee treat to cheer me up. Last night Rachel and I had a cracking night at Komedia in Brighton. Their Sunday night comedy club, dinner and drinks was JUST what the doctor ordered. We walked out of there with tears in our eyes and stitches in our sides.

I’ve dedicated a post to Rachel before, and I can pretty much guarantee that I will again. She is just THE BEST. When people have asked me to describe her I say she’s just like me but SO MUCH BETTER. I’m sorry for the shouty capitals but she’s just my favourite. It’s a very rare thing to feel understood and accepted for all your sides, some of which are really not pretty and she’s never made me feel any less of a person for not being so completely imperfect. Rachel is one of a handful of people who I will happily talk to at anytime, always via text because not only does she understand how much I detest talking on the phone (WHO HAS TIME FOR THIS) but she hates it just as much.

THANK YOU, RACHY-RACH. YOU DA BESTEST.

As I am a big geek I then started Googling (what did we do before google?) different types of friends and it appears a lot of people have a lot of opinions on the different types of friends you can have.

Quite famously (well, in my friendship groups anyway) I once upset my favourite Irishman by saying we were acquaintances at a time he thought we were legit friends (I’m nothing if honest). He’s still bitter about it to this day – MARK SEWELL, IF YOU’RE READING THIS I’M SORRY I’M NOT SORRY. I LOVE YOU LIKE A BROTHER NOW THOUGH OK. YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND UNTIL I’M DEAD. AND THEN WHEN I’M DEAD I’LL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU BECAUSE ANNOYING YOU IS MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO.

Back to my point though, I think a lot of people throw the word ‘friend’ around too easily these days. I actually put a lot on that word. Maybe I’m overthinking it but maybe I’m not. I like to keep things neat and organised so I box people in to either ‘Internet friend’, ‘Friend of a friend’, ‘work friend’, ‘ acquaintance’, ‘friend’ , ‘BEST PALS’. I always say I don’t have a lot of friends, even though when I list them I do probably have more than average. It just feels like I don’t sometimes because all of my friends are so scattered over the UK and various other parts of the world.

I am very good at staying in touch though; I will always make the effort with those I want in my life. Though don’t get me twisted it is a two-way street and if it’s me doing all the reaching, I’m out.

The older I’m getting the more I’m appreciating my friends that are chilled. I have no time for the drama anymore. I want low effort relationships. If you’re too much hassle, SEE YA PAL. I also find myself listening to my sisters more as I get older. They have told me before that they think people aren’t good for me which, of course, at the time I am completely shocked and offended by. In hindsight though, they are usually completely correct. I need low-key, like me.

 So to my best best best friends, thanks for always making sure it’s a two-way street, for making the effort and letting me moan and vent and be sad and perfectly imperfect around you. I hope I do the same for you. Thanks for not being extra. I actually like you, guys. Like, a lot. I’m sorry I’m not around more. It’s because whilst I love you, I hate people.

Thanks for putting up with me and my brutally honest self. Thanks for letting me sing Disney in your face one minute and then debate politics with you the next. Thanks for telling me when I’m right (you know I lap that shit up) but, more importantly, thanks for telling me when I’m wrong.  Thanks for being there to discuss the really important things in life-like “Do giraffes get neck ache?”. You know I would go to the ends of the earth for you, especially if you’re meeting me there with Tequila. I hope I make you feel equally spesh (I’m not so good at expression soppy emotional shit, so I’m gonna stop now before it just becomes stupidly sarcastic and insincere). You’re all on at least a 3 year sentence so I must be doing something right?!

 BIG LOVE, FRIENDS.

 AND THANKS.

xoxo Micks

 

 

A letter to the heartbroken.

To my friend that is heartbroken,

There isn’t really anything that I can say that will make you feel better right now. Heartbreak and heartaches are shit. There is no sugar-coating that. It fucking sucks. It reeeeeeeeally fucking sucks. It doesn’t matter whether the relationship was a healthy one, it doesn’t matter how long you were together, it doesn’t matter how it ended… heartbreak is heartbreak. What matters is that you allow yourself time to heal. Whether the heartbreak is fresh in the last week, or whether it happened 6 months ago, don’t feel that you have to rush to get over it – we all heal at different rates. There is no timeline to get over someone. You just have to ride it out.

One thing I have learnt during MY heartaches is this – you need to feel it. Distractions are ok for a while but eventually the hurt will catch up with you and then you’ll hate yourself for still being upset over something that you had fooled everyone else (and possibly even yourself) in to thinking you were over. You’re allowed to be hurt. You’re allowed to cry. You’re allowed to have days where you stay in bed and bury your face in your palms getting lost in memories of happier times, all whilst you search for the answers you may never get. You’re allowed to feel like you will never laugh again, like you will never love again. You’re allowed to be hurt, upset, confused and all of that. It’s ok not to be ok. Anyone that tells you any different is wrong.

Remember in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Ron is a total douchebag and leaves Harry and Hermione? He was allowed to be a douchebag because he had a horcrux around his neck – the boy you were with did not. He was a douchebag because he is a douchebag and honey, douchebags like that don’t change. Please don’t stop seeing the magic in the world. More importantly, don’t stop seeing the magic in you – there is so much that is special about you.

When you ARE happy again (and you will be happy again, promise) you will look back at the hard times and be thankful for where you are now and how you got there. No one is without hard times and heartache, no one. Own your hard times, life is made up of them and what we do with them is what matters. You might not see the day now but I promise that one day you’ll get into bed at night and realise that you haven’t cried all day, that will turn into a week, then a month. It will be then that you will realise you’re going to be ok and that will be a great day (one that we can celebrate with tequila).

I have also come to learn that nothing is taken away without being replaced. I don’t mean that you will have a new love interest straight away (maybe you will, who knows?) but you will have something. Maybe right now you are not supposed to be in a relationship with anyone else but yourself. Maybe it’s time to replace your love for him, with love for you. Perhaps this is your time to find yourself independently from anyone else and you’re meant to enjoy it for what it is. Your time, for you. Time to remember how fucking rad you are! How much you have to offer the world! Not a bad replacement if you ask me. Building a life that is different from the one you had planned out for yourself is scary, but also exciting. Who knows what adventures life will take you on now – embrace the uncertainty. If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t get lost!

I can’t promise you that there will be no more heartbreak for you in the future but I can promise this. – I will be there.

I will be there to sit with you in silence whilst you cry.

I will be on the end of the phone whilst you wonder out loud for the seventieth time if you could have done something different so that things didn’t end the way they did.

My friend Tequila and I will be there on the nights you want to just forget about the hurt in your heart and laugh and dance as if you hadn’t a care in the world.

I will be there when you decide you’ve done enough crying and you are ready to pick yourself and your heart up and try again.

I will be there when you realise that pain will always be a memory, but that memories aren’t always painful.

I will be there when the sun finally comes through the clouds and you start to really smile and laugh again. On the days the sun fades I will be there to dance in the rain with you.

When you get to the stage when you can smile at the past and flirt with the future… you got it, I’ll be there.

Remember, your laughter tastes better than your tears and time really does heal all wounds. Make that your mantra. Time heals. Time heals. Time heals.

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-21-01-20

I can’t wait for the day when you turn to me and say, “I can’t believe me and my little ole heart survived that”; because I know you can do it. We all do. We all know you have it in you; you just need to believe you do too.

I promise you that you WILL get over this, no matter how long it takes.

When you’re ready, your new life will be waiting for you and it will be more than you ever dreamed it could be.

Go get it, gurl!

 

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The Story of Rachel and I

The time is 00:31. It is Thursday 29th September. I have been in from work for about an hour, normally I would hit the hay straight away but today, today my blog readers, is a special, special day.

 

TODAY IS MY BEST FRIEND’S BIRTHDAY.

 

Rach is on the left

There will, of course, be the obligatory picture collage on all social media platforms, the annual Whatsapp of my singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her, not to mention a birthday text (we both dislike phone calls – reason 101 she is my best friend) plus the celebratory dinner tomorrow but, after mentally recalling our story to myself, I decided I wanted to write it down and share it with the world.

So here it is, The Story of Rachel and I….

 

 

Picture it, Sicily 1922… oh no, wrong story.

Picture it, a lecture hall at Kingston University, in the autumn of 2009, a small group of students have gathered to talk to a lecturer about partaking in ERASMUS the next year, the room is abuzz with excitement.

 

“I wonder where we can go”

“Do you think you’ll need to speak the language?”

“I wonder what the universities are like?”

Rachel “ My brother’s girlfriend did ERASMUS, she said they just partied all the time.”

That is my first real memory of ‘ole McCarth. This was a year into the start of our course at KU (class of 2011 say hey!), our course was Primary Education and as there were only around 80 students (a guess) on the course you’d imagine that we’d have crossed paths before this, well, in a word, no. No we hadn’t. I recognised her face from the rare whole cohort lectures we had, and knew her name as one of the girls I hung out with was in the same specialism as her, but I had never actually spoken to her. At that point I didn’t have any idea how important that party animal would become to me.

 

one of our first nights out in Valencia

Fast forward a month or two and we both found out (along with Jade and Hayley) that we had been accepted on the ERASMUS programme. WAHEY. We were going to being in Valencia, Spain for a term (our course was split into terms like schools, not semesters). We were going to do our teaching placement at an international school, do a week in a local school, have a week off for Fallas and then spend 2 weeks at the university there. I will go on record to say that Hayley was a superstar in those weeks leading up to us leaving. She organised all of us; we had a group meeting with the student that had gone the year before us, she got us the name of a landlord in VLC, she contacted the school, she acted as a go-between for us and the lecturer that was our point of contact in Kingston.

 

Just up from our apartment in VLC

January 4th 2010. Gatwick Airport. Hayley had gone a day earlier and Jade was due in a couple days later. I remember standing by myself (I didn’t want anyone to come with me, didn’t want the fuss) waiting to drop my suitcase off and hearing someone talking at 100mph about 60 people ish behind me in the queue. It was Rachel. Her friends had dropped her off, they were gabbing away. This was something I learnt very quickly about Rach; she does love to talk.

I was a very different person back then, I remember thinking at the time ‘God, I hope she likes me. I hope we get on ok. What am I going to talk to her about?’ I was very shy and nervous back then and wanted everyone to like me. Now I couldn’t give a shit, but then it really mattered to me. We met up after security and since then we’ve been pretty much inseparable. She was, and is, so easy to talk to. I remember sitting on the plane next to her and being nervous because it was a big deal, going to stay in a country for 4 months with 3 girls I didn’t know that well, a country where I didn’t know the language but somehow she distracted me jabbering away, wondering what it would be like and talking about placement amongst other things. By the time we landed in Valencia I knew she was a good egg.

 

casual shopping trip

We got off the plane and survived public transport with Hayley’s instructions. We came out of the metro station at Àngel Guimerà, it was the middle of the night and super quiet, as we stood there waiting for Hayley to come and meet us Rach pipes up “Have you seen the movie Taken? ‘Cause this reminds me of that movie when the two girls get kidnapped”. Excellent. Thanks for that pal.

 

I’m pleased to report we weren’t kidnapped and we met Hayley just fine. Due to an overlap of students leaving and arriving Rach and I ended up sharing a room for a month. That month sealed the friendship deal for the both of us I think. Never have I enjoyed sharing a bedroom with someone so much. We quickly found that we had a shared love of tea, emo music and the same stupid sense of humour. Every night we’d get in to bed, have a chat and end up laughing at something ridiculous – more than once Jade knocked on the wall and asked what we were laughing at and we couldn’t tell her because either a) she wouldn’t find it funny like us or b) we were too busy laughing to explain.

 

A club somewhere in Kings Cross

I can say for the both of us that those few months abroad were our best time at university. We had the best time. The school we were in was amazing; the teachers made us feel so welcome and even took us for our first night out drinking whilst we were there. The children were little gems and loved having us there – there were a lot of tears on our last days. On the days we weren’t at the school we partied, shopped, went to the beach, drank tea, visited our little man in the fruit and veg shop down the street, went and saw Valencia play at the Mestalla (Thanks for the tickets, Carles), snuck in a trip up to Barcelona… we had a ball.

 

Rach and I did try and learn the lingo properly whilst we were there but it didn’t really work out. Especially when you look at our learning techniques…

 

Car is Coche. The best way to remember it is ‘COtCH (e)ing in the car’

 

Donde means where? WHERE is the DON of the D(e)ay?

 

Honestly, and we wonder why we quickly unlearnt most of our ‘Spanish’. This kind of thing was one of the many things we bonded over; we thought it was a foolproof way to learn. Apparently not.

 

We skipped out on the local school placement together once – there was a visit to the local park and after lunch we got bored so we went home and had a nap. Never went back. There was also a lecture at the university where the lecturer was a complete arse, when we had to divide into groups for work again we both went home, had a tea, listened to music and had a nap. Hayley and Jade were both troopers and stuck it out. We just encouraged the naughty in each other I think.

 

Back home we both struggled to re adjust to being on a course our hearts weren’t in. The travel bug had bitten and we wanted to go out there and see everything and everywhere. If we were both honest there was a very similar reason that we both wanted to jump back on a flight to Valencia. Obviously, we didn’t. We both had different friendships groups and mine were very focused and made sure I completed assignments and went to lectures; living in Kingston made it easier for me. Rach was living at home in South Norwood and found it much easier to be distracted – especially when she got into a new relationship (George, I’m looking at you! Ha-ha) I have to say through this phase I was a big fat nag, this was our final year of uni and I made it my mission to make Rach finish the course. There was no way she was going to drop out after she’d worked so hard.

 

Around May 2011, I remember walking with Rach to the car park by the business school and her casually dropping in the conversation that she was pregnant. My jaw hit the floor and we had a long old chat about it in her car (miss you, Ruby). Fast forward to November 20th, I’m in Bath visiting another friend and my BB goes off (I kind of miss my Blackberry too, BBM was the nuts!) with a picture of the most precious thing. My Godson, Nephew, Friend, Guy who is super fun and so much cooler than me. Oscar. That boy has filled my life with so much love, light, happiness and playfulness in his (almost) 5 years on the planet. It has been a joy to watch him grow and become who he is. I’m pleased to report that he has the same silly sense of humor that his mum and I have. It’s great!

When Oscar and I met for the first time

 

We’ve now been best pals for almost 7 years; this post was just the beginning of the story of Rachel and I. There have been so many more moments over the years that have cemented her place in my heart and in my life. She is an absolute gem and anyone that knows her is lucky too. Watching her become a mum and raise Oscar, along with George, has been so special. Rachel took to it so naturally, even though she was always a bit worried about it. If I ever had children I will have her on speed dial.

There is so much more to her than being Oscar’s mum though, she has been there for me and shared some of my best and worst moments. The dose of realness that I often need when I get swept up in my fantasies; she’ll always gently pull me back down to earth. She is funny, loves food as much as me – once I asked her what she wanted to do and she looked at me and said “I think I’d just like to eat some quavers”, appreciates music like I do both the ‘cool’ stuff and the not so cool. She has a sense of adventure that rivals my own, she can talk to anyone, has a heart of gold, is fiercely loyal to me, she always has my back… I don’t actually know what I did to deserve her. She is also, and she’ll hate me for saying this, like, totally gorgeous!!! Sooooo many of my friends see her pic for the first time and go ‘oh she’s so pretty’. Rachel will say something along the lines of ‘oh behave, stop it’ when she reads that but Rach hunny, we say it cause it’s true!!

I’ve rambled on a fair bit now so I will close this by saying Rachel you’re great. Thank you for being my friend. You’re infinitely cooler and prettier than me. I love you. See you tomorrow evening.

 

Your blister,

 

Michaela

 

Xoxo