I love Sundays. One of the benefits of having work expand to fill much of my life is that I really enjoy my time off. A lot. Last night, one of my closest friends, Shonagh, came over for an evening of wine and song. We haven't had a night to ourselves in months and I relished the chance to catch up. We spent some time bringing each other up to date on the chaos and charm of our daily lives and then we spent some time reminiscing about our schooldays before singing Amy Winehouse and Billy Bragg (not a duet - that would be so weird and kind of wrong).
Shonagh and I were at school together and have known each other for about twenty years, give or take. I agree with Stephen King about the friendships of childhood. It is not only rare to hold on to those friends for such a long time, but to maintain a close relationship with childhood friends when you get to be adults is even more rare.
When he was 30 or so, Stephen King wrote an amazing story about a group of friends, all around 12 years old, who go on a trip to find the dead body of a missing kid. The story is called The Body, and it was made into a film called Stand By Me that everyone - and I mean everyone - should see. It is one of Shonagh's favourite films, and one of mine - mostly because it reminds me so much of her. In the original story, King examines the nature of those friendships we form as children:
"Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant, did you ever notice that?...I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12 - Jesus, did you?"
The Body, Stephen King.
Last night with Shonagh made me think for the second time this month (the first was when Howard, my friend who lives in Canada, came to visit) about who I was when I was younger: what has changed about me and what has stayed exactly the same. I wonder if the answers to any of my questions about myself can be found in these re-examinations of the past. Maybe, or maybe not, but I enjoy travelling back through the memories sometimes, nonetheless.
Today, after Shonagh left, I went back to bed for a couple of hours before heading over to Hayling Island to visit my mum and the Bean. I love Sundays with my family, perhaps for the same reason I was just describing, it takes me back to the familiar comforts of my youth. That and the fact that I have just eaten a huge roast dinner and am looking forward to several glasses of wine.
Before dinner, I scanned through my mum's DVD collection and came across the first series of House, an American medical drama starring Hugh Laurie. I love it. I mean, I really, really, and actually quite obsessively love it. Everyone should see at least one episode of House, too. Watch that after Stand By Me if you like. I watched four episodes in a row before I remembered that I was actually meant to be visiting my family, not just sharing a building with them.
I fell in love with House a little bit, the title character, played by Hugh Laurie in the series, which is strange because it makes him my third crush today. My first was on Jack Black this morning in a trailer for the Tenacious D film that's about to be released (I love Jack Black, entirely) and my second was on the most delicious man who must have been in his early twenties, and had, I swear, just stepped out of 1968. Long dreadlocks in his hair, crazy little goatee beard. Uh-huh.
All in all, a good day, filled with beauty, rest and fun. Back to work tomorrow for more of the same - minus the rest, of course.
Today's Beautiful Things
1. Er, House, Jack Black and the cute 1968 dude
2. That Sunday feeling of nothing to do
3. Multipurpose PVA (OK, not really, I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention)