Good friendship manages to come through periods in which the friendship can't really blossom. It took me years to build up a good friendship with my then colleague Suzie, but then when lockdown hit, the friendship was strong enough to be able to weather the storm. We made sure to catch up on screen while that was the only thing we were legally allowed to do! And then lockdown was released, and for a while we could meet, but only outdoors. We met once, but we had chosen the venue badly, and a long-eared bat took up quite a lot of our attention. We barely caught up!
The tide has turned now! We can freely meet up indoors. I had been trying to arrange that we would. That was not straightforward; the logistics of having a baby and a small child makes pretty much everything in life difficult. And there were matters for which she needed to be back at her parents' house. And the baby seems to be prone to catching colds.
One day we almost managed. She had suggested the best way of seeing each other would be when the oldest kid would be in school, but that would be during working hours. However; I am on campus pretty much every day, and I need to have lunch anyway, so the idea was that we would have lunch in a café. And while we were trying to organise that, Martin joined the plan, as he also hadn't seen her in ages either and hadn't been enjoying that. The first attempt was aborted for baby reasons, and moved to a day when I actually didn't have anything to do on campus, but I was perfectly willing to bike to Bangor especially to see her.
Then the actual day came, and another text arrived mentioning baby issues that prevented Suzie from appearing. Bummer! I texted Martin to ask what he wanted with the situation; I figured he would already be in Bangor, teaching, and with no lunchbox in his bag. He might want to just continue without Suzie, or maybe prefer to just get a quick sandwich and get on with things. There was no reply. It is not unusual for people to switch their phones to silent when they teach! He probably had no idea Suzie wasn't coming. And then the moment arrived that I needed to either jump on my bicycle to make it, or not show up at all. And I figured that if I expected to have lunch with two friends, and I would walk into a café and meet nobody at all, I would be a bit deflated about that. So I went anyway. And that seems to have been the right decision.
And then the day came eventually worked out! I had been teaching until 12, so lunch then was an excellent idea. We went to the same café! We knew now it was good (Domu, in case you wonder.) And when I got there Suzie and the baby were already there! It was really nice to see her, and that we were in a comfortable environment with little risk of disturbing bats made it even better. A bit later Martin joined and we could finally catch up on the many months before.
I hope this won't be the last time we do a thing like that! And maybe we can also involve Menai Bridge in all of this; it's closer to where Suzie lives, and unlike me, Martin actually works in the office on a regular basis. An I am sure I will sometimes have to go there myself. And if not, I can just bike a little bit further for the occasion. It will be nice to be able to properly pick up where we left off when the pandemic got in the way!