As the rain lashes down outside today, and I put on a heavier top to keep out the autumnal chill, I am in a positive frame of mind, and thinking back to nice times in the past. Good memories are so much better than bad ones, and are to be treasured. They arrive in my brain in no time sequence, and in no particular order.
The first house I bought, after we sold our flat in Wandsworth. The thrill of moving into a 3-bed house with a small garden, close to Wimbledon Park in London. Having a separate dining room with a large table, and an Edwardian house with so many original features retained. Friends coming round for dinner, new carpets, a new car, and only being 27 years old. My life was stretching out ahead of me, and I was feeling ready to enjoy it.
My first shift as an EMT after completing training. A busy day in central London, feeling nervous and unsure. I coped with it, and as I travelled home, I thought ‘I can do this’.
The best live gig I ever went to. Swing Out Sister, at the Jazz cafe in Camden. I was living a very different life then, and almost 50 years old. But that was one of the best nights of my life, never to be forgotten. I can still recall the whole night, despite the amount of red wine I consumed during that gig.
My third wedding, in 2009. Perfect weather, everyone happy, and an ideal location at a lovely hotel in Kent. When it was all over, those of us staying at the hotel met in the bar. Exhausted, happy, and having a quiet drink before bedtime. One of those perfect evenings.
A wonderful Greek meal in Camden, with two great friends. We all had the Mezze, endless courses of food that lasted for a few happy hours. Even when we tried to leave, the owner called us back from the street to join him for free drinks. One of those friends has since died, and that evening we spent at the Greek restaurant is one of my enduring memories of him.
Leaving London, and my retirement party. Moving to Norfolk was the best decision I ever made. I had a big leaving party in a bar on The Embankment before I left. As well as colleagues from the ambulance service and the police, friends and family came too. I was feeling very emotional, not least as my mum had died a few days earlier. They bought me lovely gifts, and some spoke nice words about me. I knew I was leaving for a quiet life, with no stress of work. I also knew I would miss them all. A fabulous evening.
Writing this cheered me up. It may become a short series!