Some of you may remember a post of mine a couple of months ago when I mentioned that our closest friends in the UK, Darren and Carmen, were moving back to Australia after having lived here for ten years.
Today was the day we said our farewells. A sad day, made all the stranger and slightly awkward by the fact that we also got together today with other friends to celebrate the birthdays of my wife Wendy and my younger daughter Daisy. So it was happiness mingled with sadness.
Part of me still can't quite believe that this is it and that we are only likely to see them every other year, if we're lucky, or more likely far less frequently than that. Ten years of friendship - it has been a blessing and we will of course continue to be friends from afar, which is easier these days in an age of electronic communications, but still, it hurts, let it be said.
So here's to Darren and Carmen, wishing them all the best for their new life together in Australia.