Having spent a gorgeous afternoon with you and your little family this weekend, there seems no better day to be grateful for you my love!
We first met almost nine years ago now (can you believe that?!) when you welcomed me on the first day of my new job. I still remember you in your tartan dress and beret (it was 2009); that stunning smile of yours made me feel instantly at ease. You’d got me a new notepad and written my name on the front in your curly handwriting; I knew everything was going to be okay. I didn’t know then that I’d be making a friend for life; that we’d share moments of inconsolable hysteria almost every day we worked together, that I’d get to see you grow up, watch you get married and hold your five day old daughter in my arms.
I think we realise now that those jobs weren’t exactly the pinnacle of the high powered business world, but my god did we have fun. Intelligent enough to be left to our own devices and conscientious enough to get all our work done before time, we found ourselves seeking out additional tasks to fill the hours. In weekly ‘poster meetings’ we’d use our favourite felt tips to creatively map out priorities for the week, whilst generating a realistic enough reason to sit in your office with the door closed for an hour, laughing our heads off. When not attending invented meetings together, we’d chat on MSN messenger from two feet across the room, occasionally having to retreat out the back to relieve the shoulder-shaking silent states of hysteria we had driven ourselves into. I don’t even know now what was so funny, but there always seemed to be something.
We found friendship through a mutual love of food and makeup; we’d share biscuits at our desks and go on hourly tea runs together. The highlight of the week was always ‘M&S Friday’, where we’d allow ourselves a calorific break from our usual marmite-on-toast kind of lunches, stuffing our faces with scones or egg custards or those million calorie cream-filled desserts. The bonus of our lunch breaks was that you’d ensured we always shared the 1.30 slot – so only three sleepy hours to fill when we were back at our desks with full bellies.
I would watch you reapply your makeup every lunchtime at the kitchen table – and I’ve still no idea why on earth you bothered doing that – learning about Benefit blusher and red lipstick. We’d sit on the fire escape tanning in the summer, spend our days moaning about the cold in the winter. You gave me a lift home every day – one of those days you nearly ran me over, and of course the only logical response to that incident was to nearly die laughing.
We learnt the very boring intricacies of each other’s lives, dreaded the days when one of us was on holiday, shared in the trials and tribulations of our early 20 year old existences. Eventually the time came for me, then you, to move on. Although the workplace has never been quite as hysterical since, I knew there was never any danger of us losing touch.
You’ve always been there for me when I’ve needed you most: to listen, to reason, to share in my troubles; to plot our bitter revenge on the boy who never texted me back. More than once, we met in that sad little Italian in Morden to pore over my problems with a lasagne and a limoncello. You’d never judge, never dream of telling me to buck my ideas up and get over it – you were simply there, and that means so much to me.
We made a rule that neither of us could get married until our hair covered our boobs. You reached that goal and I was beyond thrilled to see you walk down the aisle and marry Simon. Goodness me, what a beautiful bride! It was clear how much effort you’d put into the day; it was just perfect.
I remember another friend telling me how impressed she was with the regularity of our meet ups. It’s never really been an effort though has it? No matter how often we get together we’ll always have to talk at a million miles an hour to get all the important news fitted in, whether it’s what we’ve been watching on TV, what mascara we’ve been using or who’s been annoying us the most.
I can’t get over how naturally you’ve settled into being a mother: I absolutely love watching you with Mollie; she has brought such tangible joy to you and Simon and you couldn’t be more perfect with her (especially for someone who always said she didn’t like children!). I can’t wait to continue on this new journey with you, to watch Mollie grow up and into the world.
Thank you so much Robyn for being in my life; for your never ending kindness and hospitality, for your hilarious honesty and for choosing a husband who can cook. Thank you for caring about the same inconsequential things that I care about, for sending me stupid Love Island memes and for sharing in my outrage at the latest Z list celebrity gossip. I simply can’t imagine my life without you in it.
All my love,