Ken and I go back a long way!
One of the biggest wrenches of my year maternity leave was not seeing her every day. The biggest wrench of my redundancy is not seeing her at all!
But what fate brought together no redundancy can put asunder. She is one of my bestest friends (I love using that innocent, childlike expression it makes me sound 6 years old) and a fairy godmother to the boy so our relationship is untroubled by recent events.
It's just I really miss her. She knows me inside out and has for over 12 years put up with my terrible jokes, passing fads and surreal humour.
Last night she took me out for dinner. I'd been looking forward to it for weeks. I even got my hair done for the occasion. We had a sneaky bottle of rose, that she'd brought over, before we went out, then we legged it down to the waterfront for a pizza and more wine.
The only trouble was an hour had passed as we chatted away, excited to be spending time with each other again, the wine had dwindled and still no main course had arrived. We were now two bottles down and nothing more than a bit of garlic bread to sustain us.
I grabbed our nice waitress and she apologised for the delay. The kitchen was snowed under and could she get us another bottle of wine? It was free! Are bears catholic? Does the pope sit up the woods with a paper? Of course we'd like another bottle of wine!
Pizza and salad duly arrived and we devoured them hungrily spurred on by alcohol, chat and laughter.
Walking home the reasonably short distance from the restaurant to my house we stopped at a local pub for an additional cheeky beverage. Drink seems to beget drink doesn't it. Already three bottles of wine in and having drunk more than was wise I ordered,
"Could we try the Adnams gin please? 2 please with slim line tonic."
"Singles or doubles?"
"Ah make 'em doubles." I declared rashly.
Adnams gin is local and lovely but time was ticking on. Mr Ken was coming at 10.30 to pick Ken up. We were only half way through our drinks and savouring every sip but we needed to go.
At this point I turned into a naughty 14 year old!
"If we go out the back way along the side alley we can take our gins and drink the rest on the way home"
At the end of the alley is a car park where a copper was checking out the tax disc on a vehicle!
"We can't go past him holding these." Ken said sensibly
"Lets tuck our glasses in our handbags " I giggled. "Then get them out once we're down the road"
So we did!
My redundancy has taught me many things in the last few weeks. When to try and fight and when to just walk away. That I can be strong and resilient if I need to be but I would never sell my friends out. Why would I want to when I have a friend like Ken by my side. Friends like her come along once in a lifetime.
I've also learnt that potential employers are now looking at your transferable skills. Well last night Ken and I found a new skill we never knew we had.
We can balance a double G&T in a clutch bag and walk nonchalantly past a policeman without spilling a drop. All after three bottles of wine too!
That's going on my CV......