A couple of weeks ago my god-daughter started primary school. Twenty years ago I started primary school myself, and on the very first day I met my best friend. It's funny how as a child you have one best friend, apparently as a kid I always used to tell all my family about 'my best friend Emma'...but as you grow up you learn to share each other, as you gain more best friends, until you have a handful of besties that you can always count on.
Twenty years later Emma is still one of my closest friends. I know I can always count on her, and I know she'll always be there. She's appeared a few times on the blog, so for our 20-year friendversary, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about her. The problem is though, how do I condense twenty years of memories into one blog post!? I guess I'll just pick out the favourites.
We met in a tractor tyre. It was the first day of school and I remember us standing next to this huge gigantic tyre in the playground. I can't remember who asked who, but one of us asked the other if we could be friends, and that was it. Twenty years later we've had countless memories together; good times, drunken nights (which almost always end in me peaking too soon...and stealing Emma's bed, forcing her onto the floor), bitching sessions, watching horror films with tubs of haribo, and lunches and dinners gossiping about everything and anything.
Throughout primary school we were inseparable. Everywhere we went it was always 'Catherine and Emma'. Whenever we had to pair up, we went together.
I have so many memories of going round to Emma's house and her coming to mine that I'm sure we spent more time together than apart.
One time in the holidays my mum took us to a farm park, and I still remember both of us singing along at the tops of our voices to my new Spice Girls cassette tape. We were both pretty obsessed with the Spice Girls, and in the school playground us girls had our own Spice Girls group. Emma was Posh spice and I was Baby spice.
Oh, then there was also the time at lunchtime when Emma made me laugh while I was eating a yoghurt, so I snorted yoghurt out of my nose and mouth, ALL over her hair! I still remember one sleepover when we were sat on her bed (I was always super jealous because she had a purple bedroom), cutting the ends of the hundreds of packets of sherbert we had for our 'midnight feast', and we were laughing so uncontrollably that we were both bent double barely able to breathe or talk. I can't for the life of me remember what we were even laughing about!
Then there was the time when we went to either Heever or Leeds Castle (can't remember which) and we got lost in the maze. So Emma gave me a boost up on the fence so I could see over the top...except we broke the fence and I fell down. Woops. Then there was the time we were both in Wintershall - The Life of Christ (it was an outside play about Jesus). We played two children and we had the best week running around the Wintershall estate in costume, eating scotch pancakes and eating the loaves of bread during the feeding of the five thousand scene.
We both decided to do the same extra-curricular activities. We did Brownies together, swimming lessons together, had tennis lessons together, karate lessons together, and tap dancing lessons together. It was brilliant. You know how you have a secret joke with your best friend, and when you give them 'the look' they know exactly what you're thinking about and you both crack up laughing? Yeh, that happened in pretty much every single karate lesson.
I still remember how excited we both were the very first time we were allowed to go to the cinema together by ourselves. We felt super grown up, mainly because my Mum let me borrow her massive blue brick mobile phone to call them when we were ready to be picked up. This was in the nineties people, a child having a mobile phone was not normal.
We caused chaos in primary school, we were awful. One time we found a really small worm and put it in our teacher's tea and watched her drink it, she had no idea. Another time we hid behind the door and held it open, and when someone walked through it we let go so it shut on them then ran off. Oh, and then for some reason we also ate crisps off the floor... (don't ask). And how could I ever forget the time we 'dealt Pokemon cards' behind the toilets because they were banned in our school?! We were canny though, we were super good in class so no one suspected it was us.
For my 10th birthday my parents took me, Emma, and our friend Gabrielle to see S Club 7. We had THE BEST night, and we wore out matching Bolts and platform shoes and thought we looked amazing. Talking of clothes, for our end of year school play we did Oliver. Emma and I were both street sellers (I was a milk maid and she a strawberry seller), and rich people. For the rich people scene I got the amazing super nice blue outfit, while she got the yucky brown one :P
At the end of primary school we got our ears pierced together with our friend Annabel, and over the holidays we both got our periods within about a week of each other (sorry, TMI? Seriously though, weird or what). We both discussed starting secondary school in-depth and having the perfect 'cool' backpacks. We decided our backpacks either had to be Animal or Quicksilver. Emma had a Quicksilver one so I had an Animal one. I'm still not sure why we went through a 'grungy' faze, both of us even had matching flared jeans as well as the Bolts. Awks.
|Myself, Emma, and our friend Annabel - aged 11 after getting our ears pierced!|
In secondary school things didn't change much, we walked to school together from our old primary school round the corner as our siblings were still there. Our mums would drop us off and we'd walk the 10mins to our school, feeling super grown up.
Emma's Gran lived behind our school through a secret doorway, so we used to sneak down there when no one was looking and go to her Gran's house for lemonade and biscuits. Luckily we were in the same form group, so even through secondary school we remained best friends. Emma was always the smart one though, so she was in the super intelligent 'Group 1' maths and science classes...while I was in the less intelligent 'Group 3' classes.
One PE lesson in winter, we were supposed to be playing football, but I lost one of my football socks and we both decided it was a good excuse for us to not go outside in the cold. So we both hid in the showers and sat there for two hours playing M.A.S.H and pinging hairbands against the wall. We also used to get out of lessons by going to reconciliation and then basically talking rubbish to the priest and eating all the sweets they kept on the table. One time I literally sat there and went 'so...nice weather today!'.
So many memories through secondary school, so many Saturdays in town spending our pocket money, having lunch at McDonalds (classy, eh), and 'window shopping' in Topshop. So many funny times at school making fun of teachers, and being total weirdos with our friends on the field at lunchtimes. And of course, who could forget all of the dress up parties, where every single time I went as a pirate?! (and I still do, FYI).
When it was time for our school Prom, it was only natural for us to get ready together and then meet our friends to all go there in unison.
When I moved to Australia, my family stayed at Emma's house the night before our flight, and her Dad drove us to the airport the next day. The first Christmas in Australia I sent Emma a package...which included an envelope full of sand from our beach. I still laugh thinking about her opening it! Then Emma and her family all came out to visit us in Perth for Easter and my 17th birthday, and we had the most amazing two weeks with them!
We took them Down South to Eagle Bay and took some pretty epic photos, and it was while we were at Eagle Bay that Emma and I first discovered Romy & Michele's High School Reunion. It was love at first watch. We were hooked from the very first scene. Also, check out the photo below of Emma basically punching me in the face... haha!
We then all flew over to Sydney for my actual birthday, and Emma and I got lost at the Sydney Opera House in the rain. So we took a selfie to commemorate the moment. #standard
Going through our old wall posts and messages on Facebook, we kept in contact a lot while I was out in Australia! We told each other everything and kept each other updated with every little detail of our lives. I went back to the UK for a coupla weeks in the summer (English summer), and we naturally made the most of this time to have picnics, drive around to random places, dressing up and taking photos, and wrapping ourselves up in Emma's pop-art project...
When I returned we stayed with Emma's family for a few nights, and we went to a 50th Birthday party dressed as the girls from St Trinians (see pic below). We ended up hiding in the coat marquee all evening because we were too scared of all of the older people.
That winter the snow was insane, so naturally we made the most of this by sneaking into the untouched garden of an empty house and making the most of their beautiful fresh snow...then we went to Sainsburys and brought Creme Eggs and sat in the snow in the car park and ate them. Classy eh.
After six months of me being back in the UK (and numerous nights out, parties, and even a few double dates with our boyfriends), we both went to University. We didn't get to see each other much while we were at Uni, but we caught up in the holidays and some weekends when we were both home!
Since leaving Uni and starting work we've both made much more of an effort and we now regularly see each other for lunch and drinks/dinner as Emma works round the corner from me!
She even comes on some blog stuff with me, and then a coupla years ago we went to Paris with the girls!
|In 2013 we finally found a hammock big enough for both of us!|
I love you Romy/Ema/Emsie-pemsie, thank you for bringing so much laughter and happiness to my life over the past twenty years, here's to another twenty. Love, Michele/Cluxy/KitKat xx
PS: You didn't think I'd do a post without a poem, did you Emma? Here we go, in true circa 2004 Catherine fashion.
We met in a tyre when we were four,
Sometimes we'd shut people in the door,
Another time we added a worm,
To our lovely teacher's tea.
Inseparable throughout our childhood,
We used to play chefs in your hood,
Sitting by the old tree 'cooking' grapes,
And talking to that creepy kid.
Years of laughter, joy, and tears,
Tears of happiness mind,
So many memories too many to count,
Who could forget three barrels tight and yellow.
Let's not leave it there,
For who could forget clean 'n' sheen,
My poems have never been any good,
I have no idea where this one is going.
Ok let's stop there. This poem isn't working.
It includes three barrels tight and yellow and clean 'n' sheen,
And that's all that matters really.
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