{07/04/2012}   Friends staying over

I love it when friends come to stay for a weekend.  Now that I live outside London again, my social life has changed; it’s more about weekend visitors or day trips than weekday evening drinks/dinner after work.

This weekend we are four.  We had a very busy day yesterday doing all manner of beachy things and today we’re heading to Hastings.  It’s lovely that it gets us to make more effort to do things but the main thing is how it kind of changes and matures friendships.

Friends I have to stay are of course people I am comfortable with and who I want to spend more time with.  While living in London, most of my social life centred around London and very rarely did I stay with London friends or vice versa.  I have friends who live in Yorkshire, County Durham and other places that warrant a weekend visit and I love staying with them and having a weekend of being immersed in their home life.

My point hasn’t quite jumped out yet, has it?!  My point is that spending quality time with friends gives you a long enough time to properly catch up with them and to then share experiences which become, “Do you remember that time we …” stories.  I always find that in the mornings, when most people aren’t quite fully functioning, you have some of the most random conversations, there is almost a sense of nervousness about talking and I’m sure it’s to do with the whole concept of having spent a night and all that that could have entailed!

I love eating out and it’s often really nice to eat out with friends, especially when it means you get to sample more of the menu!  Yesterday, we shared four cakes!  But usually when friends stay we eat at home, especially if it’s only one night.  I enjoy cooking and, as a guest, I enjoy eating what my host has decided to cook.  Again, it’s seeing another side to people, both as the host and the visitor.

It disappoints me when you only see some friends after work.  I am probably at my worst after work because it takes a few hours to unwind and there is always the temptation to have a work related rant or moan when in fact it’d be much better to just shut up about work and focus on having a social life.  I would rather see my friends for one weekend every, say, four months than a mid-week post-work meet up once a month.  And, as a general rule, I take photos of and with my friends when we go out and do stuff.  Since living here, I have built up quite a collection of photos, mostly silly ones, but all a reflection of fun times!

That said, it’s always possible to let your hair down and have a great night out.  I just think there is something really lovely about seeing your friends in either your or their home environment and it’s also really nice to take them to places they’ve never been before and show them a little piece of your life.  A weekend with friends strengthens bonds between friends, and for that reason alone I am happy to live somewhere that is weekendable.


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