Initially, my weekend unravelled just how I had hoped and expected. (Note: I use the verb 'unravelled' here in a completely positive sense, winding out, moving forwards, opening up, but with a sense of uncertainty as to the direction it will take, and the point it will stop unravelling - a good verb for this context) Friday evening was a quiet one, spent with the comforts and aromas of spices, sweet potato and dried fruits, drinking tea and discussing the world in pyjamas. Friday was such a meteorological nightmare: plodding heavy rain followed by fat snowflakes, wind, ice, damp everywhere! I changed my trousers 4 times as I couldn't leave the house without getting soaked to the bone. It was a relief to change into my pyjamas and not have to return out into the weather!
Fridays now have to remain very quiet, sober affairs; my Saturday runs are becoming increasingly more challenging, and so I have to be strict! I am working on ways to avoid Friday-night sobriety, but for now, its bed at a reasonable hour!
I woke on Saturday with the looming physical exertion and long 'to-do' list. But, according to Murakami, even professional athletes feel dread as they tie their runnning shoes. Once I was off, I was happy to be out in the day. And running on a Saturday morning in York is a highly sociable affair!
I had planned to watch England vs. Ireland over at my friends' house in the afternoon, so I headed over with bottles galore to relax and finally get into the swing of the weekend. I do like rugby, much moreso than any other team sport; the players seem so much more humble than footballers, and so much less arrogant than tennis players! It must be great fun to run around in the mud and rain professionally! I turned up expecting to see only two of my friends, Nick and John, and was quite surprised when Ben answered the door. As I entered the living room, I noticed a rather tanned, hairy figure slouching over the couch. It took a couple of seconds to register that my old housemate and close friend Chris, who has been in Australia for 2 years and still should be, was sitting in the room! Needless to say, the whole day took an unexpected but wonderful turn, and not only did I enjoy a merry 80 minutes of rather uneventful rugby, but also 2 years' worth of catching up, and 5 years of reminiscing.
What I really got from that Saturday afternoon was much bigger than that though. I managed to discover a huge sense of belonging, realising that though everything has changed, the fundamental situation will carry on into the future. We live on different sides of the country, for a large part of our lives we will probably live on different sides of the globe, but friendship is friendship, and we share something much bigger than a postcode. For the first time since a rather hazy halloween party a couple of years ago, we were all together again as our little cliquey unit. Cliques are such a horrible, negative thing, until you're in your own clique. There's a reason other people find it hard to work within a new friendship group (and Daniel commented that, though everyone was perfectly friendly, he still felt very much an outsider); and these little oddities that we share make it the way it is!