Kerstin and Rolf arrived at Reedham station on foot soon after we did, but not before we had dragged our bags up 2 huge sets of stairs, across the railway bridge, and down the other side.
Kerstin was on the side we had arrived on, too late to show us how we didn’t need to drag our cases up and across, but could walk the short walk to her place by another route.
Rolf sauntered on to the other side, looking for all the world like it wasn’t 32 years since I had last had a proper look at him; although I may have omitted to mention that part of our London experience was catching the train to Walthamstow to visit Kerstin’s daughters Stina and Sara a few days before, and having a first and fleeting look at Rolf there when he arrived from Sweden en route to Kerstin’s for his reunion visit.
Friendship transcends time. I’ve seen Kerstin often, and kept in close contact with her, since we were all such good friends all those years ago in sunny Queensland. Rolf I had not. We’ve corresponded by email over the past year, but since 1981 when I visited Sweden, nothing – just life washing us along in parallel tides of commitment and activity on opposite sides of the world.
So we sat around Kerstin’s kitchen table and toasted ourselves and missing friends who would have completed the picture, and told each other we hadn’t changed in 32 years, and found the easy laughter and companionship again. We became young again. It was lovely.