Met up with old friend Jeff and his girlfriend Katya this evening. They're on holiday visiting Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin and Hong Kong. Jeff and I go back to 1985 when we were spring chickens at the British Council. Our friendship was based around music, football and mountain-biking. He was good at footie - top scorer for BCFC. How could he not be with a name like Jeff Hurst, which we shortened to Thirsty on the pitch.
Anyway, Thirsty moved to the BC's Manchester office in the early 90s so we drifted apart. He took voluntary redundancy a couple of years ago and is now happily dabbling in photography. Interestingly, he said it was my brother who got him going on this; Patrick had lent him his Nikon F2 when we stayed with him in Paris. We had slept on his garrett floor on the Rue St Jacques, me under a table, Jeff to the side of P's bed. It was a bitter-sweet visit as I had to tell Patrick our cat had died. We'd brought him a bottle of vodka which he drained that first evening. In the middle of the night he was sick on Jeff.
Nice to catch up, though I could have done without the cycle home in the pouring rain.