You know how some friends are just
meant to be? Well that’s Rich. He’s my oldest and best
friend. He’s always been there when I needed him and I
know he’ll always be there in the future. Sure, we might
not see each other for months, and might not speak for
weeks, but it doesn’t matter. It never will.
I believe that Rich and I met on our
first day at Uni way back in September 1994 (I’m going
to have to check this – really, why is everything so
fuzzy!!). If it wasn’t the first day it can’t have been
long after that! We lived on the same ground floor
corridor, his room was opposite mine. Whilst unpacking
boxes one of us had tea and cake to hand. Turns out we
both are pretty addicted to tea (that’s right – tea!) so
there we had it, our first common ground.
Now it turned out that Rich was an
Electronics student and with me being in Chemistry we
didn’t see much of each other in the day. Rich is a lot
cleverer than me (academically anyway [yes Mum – I know
that’s poor grammar]), so he also spent a lot more time
studying than me, which meant that I was out rock
climbing whilst he was solving 5th order
quadratic equations (I know, you’d have thought it
should be other other way around!). Still, when you’ve
got someone looking out for you, banging on the door
with tea in hand to wake you up for lectures, and plying
you with free beer whenever his dad turns up with a
crate of Boddington’s you know it’s going to be a
I’d like to say that I had a hand in matchmaking Rich
and Sarah, his lovely wife. To an extent it might be true (ask him about it!) though I’m sure
they were always destined for each other. They are a
fabulous partnership and wonderful parents to their
gorgeous daughter Zoe.
Many a night we’d spend in the
college bar drinking Calders (one term it was cocktails,
but after all the specialised glasses got stolen that
pretty much closed down the cocktail bar!!!), entering
the quiz, or just getting free food from my burger bar
(yes – I ran the burger bar!!!). One of my favourite
things still is confusing Rich by speaking “northern”.
To this day he still has little idea what I’m saying, and if
Ed and I get together he’s REALLY in the dark!
Time rolled on, we moved into
separate corridors, different houses and made new friends
but we were still the closest of mates. I got to meet
his family (as far I’m concerned his little sister is
still 8 and has no business being a police officer!) and
was christened with the wonderful nick-name “Joe 90” by
his Dad. Not that I can blame him – have you seen
pictures of me 15 years ago!??!
We had some cracking laughs, and
some cracking times (and some not so – was it your
Sister’s 18th birthday that was a bit
After Uni I moved to Stevenage and
Rich back to Dartford. We still see each other as often
as possible. I’ve helped him with his never ending DIY
(though I generally try and get out of that as much as
possible), pointed his common sense back in the right
direction and been there for him as much as I can. We
swapped the bar for Corney & Barrow (which is a little
more expensive, but I like pretending I’m a rich city
trader) and the burgers for Pizza Express. Our
evenings out in London are another very rare treat that
I treasure once in a blue moon.
On top of all that it’s been my
privilege to be there to watch Zoe grow up to the
beautiful little girl she is. She’ll make the most
adorable flower girl!
So … to Rich: Thanks for the good
times; Thanks for the friendship; Thanks for being there
when there was no-one else; and of course … thanks for
all the tea!