Our friends, S. and C., popped over from Auckland to stay with us for a few days over the Christmas period. On the first day of their visit, as we caught up on each others’ news, I snapped a few photos at a couple of Surry Hills hostelries.
The Hub had been to Auckland for a visit last August, but I’d had to travel to Perth for a friend’s milestone birthday, so it had been quite some time since I’d last seen these two. Since my last encounter with our friends, S. had started training and competing in Ironman competitions, then was involved in a road accident (the driver who hit him ran from the scene) and was forced to wear a halo brace in recovery; C. is now an ultra-marathoner. Happily, halo now history, S. is back to riding and is as obsessed with his bicycle as the Hub is with his gym sessions, as I am with my cameras. (Oh, I know, I come out sounding like a sloth here, but that’s OK. I try to keep up in my own way with 6 a.m. pre-workday gym sessions and extended traipses with camera in hand…)
I only mention all the above because I’ve known these friends for about 20 years now; the Hub has known them for slightly longer. We used to hang out together when we lived in London, and every weekend we partied like it was going out of style. My memories of that almost-decade of ‘my Cool Britannia’ are a white haze, to be honest. But those were the times. It was not unusual for me to go from Friday night to Sunday evening without bothering to eat a full meal, subsisting only on things that make you go “Hmm!” We worked hard, partied harder, travelled a little, bought houses, sold the houses, moved countries, grew up… and are still friends.
I often think about the contrast in our then-versus-now lifestyles (we have food now when we meet) – it never ceases to amaze…
Anyway, I feel almost apologetic for not being in any of these photos, but the older I get the less keen I am to place myself in front of the lens – I do it half-heartedly sometimes. And if you’re looking for insights, and your eagle-eye has done the spotting, you’d be right if you guess that my preferred tipple is “Bubbles”! (I’m only just holding on to my party-animal. I came down with a sore throat and the sniffles on Boxing Day and was laid low for several days so perhaps it’s just as well that life unfolds at a much slower pace these days, eh?)