Nine years ago in September, I started my teacher training degree at Newman University College. My oldest childhood friend, Chris, was doing the course with me, but in the queue to get enrolled, I met a group of people who have become my best friendsThough the years we have had some incredible times – two very alcohol fuelled holidays to Devon and Cornwall, complete with watching the sunrise on the beach, sleeping on the balcony and playing midnight hide and seek, plenty of crazy nights out and many nights huddled in Jo’s flat (she was the only one at the time to move away from her parents!) drinking and playing on the Wii. We had a little nickname for our group – the Futhermuckas (don’t ask!)
We all graduated in 2008, and since then, our lives have changed drastically. Boyfriends and girlfriends have come and gone, new jobs, and even babies. I was the first futhermucka to have kids, and one of the guys, Rob, got married last year and his wife is expecting their second baby. We all have our own homes now. Becky has moved away from the area and now lives a couple of hours drive away. We rarely get the chance to meet up and see each other anymore. In fact, until the other day we hadn’t seen each other since August last year at Rob’s wedding. We all talk on Facebook and Twitter etc, and keep up to date with each other that way, but it isn’t the same as seeing each other. On Wednesday, we arranged to meet up in the city centre, as Becky had come back to Birmingham for a few days. I arranged for my brothers to look after the kids for a few hours so I didn’t have to worry about chasing them around, and could enjoy being a 20-something girl out with her friends (albeit it with a sizeable baby bump!) rather than mummy for the day. I was really nervous for some reason – this was the longest I’d ever gone without seeing these guys, and so much has changed since last year with all of us that I was worried it may be awkward. It’s a bit crazy really – we’ve seen each other drunk, in tears, shared hotel rooms and tiny caravans together – why on earth would not seeing them for a year change anything?
I got to town a good hour and a half early so I could go any enjoy a coffee in Starbucks on my own and have a wander around the shops – a real treat for me! As soon as we met up, it was like we had seen each other a few days ago. Other than having plenty to catch up on, it was like no time had passed. Straight away the banter and good natured piss taking kicked in and it was just like old times. Sadly, Rob couldn’t make it, so we were a man down from our group.
We headed to Costas and sat and had a drink and chat – that shows we’re getting older now, it used to be to the pub for the afternoon! We then headed back over to the Bullring to have some lunch in a new American style diner called Five Guys. It was really lovely to sit and have meal, chat and plenty of laughs with them. After a good hour we eventually headed out into the sunshine and did a spot of people watching and selfie-taking before having a mooch around Selfridges – oohing and ahhing over pretty tutus and trying on some floppy hats! We eventually headed our seperate ways about 4pm.
It makes me really sad that we do live quite far away from each other, with most of us spread out across the West Midlands and Becky living down by the coast (lucky lady!). We’ve vowed not to leave it so long between meet ups this time, but I know that even if it is a year before we see each other again, that nothing will change between us, even if our lives do. That is a sign of real and lasting friendship.
So a big soppy message to the futhermuckas – Jo, Rob, Becky, Chris and Laura – I love you all xxxx