Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.

Last night (10.30pm) my phone sounded.

We have Facbook Portal, linked to our TV, our phones and laptops. Regularly, around this time we get a Portal call from our Daughter in Australia, early morning for them, the time when our grandchild, rises.

Baby Henderson, is approaching 8 months, our first and only grandchild. Due to the Pandemic we have been unable to meet him in person. We have a portal call with him, at least, every other day, usually every day/night. No substitute for a proper cuddle and a ‘smell’ but it is what it is. In some ways, it might be even better as in, if they lived anywhere in the UK we would almost certainly not achieve regular, daily contact?

The, now oh so familiar ‘FB Portal tune‘ sounds we (both) reach for the remotes, one to pause the programme the other, a separate portal remote, to connect. I didn’t even glance at my phone.

TV screen bursts into life, a large group of young people in a loud bar/club. John! John! We love you John!

It wasn’t Perri (my daughter)!

It took me a couple of seconds to work out who?

They were calling on a single phone, passing it around, a few seconds with each and pass it on. Eventually, I recognised a caller (the principle caller), a former student from around 3 years ago, Ben Ripley. I quickly spotted a few more, regulars within there tight group of close, Uni friends, Olly, Charlotte, Ben Pitts, Paige, Erin, Jordie, Tara, Ally……and many, many more.

They all met in Uni and became lifer, forever-friends. Scousers, Londoners, Welshies, a Canadian, a Cumbrian, Mancs…. a truly, fantastic, eclectic group of super hardworking, talented, lovely, humans.

They were obviously on a night out, presumably to watch Wales v Denmark (Ben is Welsh), hence the reason they seemed twatted so early, it was only 10.30pm.

The call ended as suddenly as it started but not before they all said hello, asked how I was, and told me that they ‘loved me’, and had been talking (thinking) of me.

You cannot imagine what it meant to me?

Three years after graduation, a group of my former students taking the time to do such a lovely, off the cuff, gesture.

A couple of follow up texts and we made arrangements to meet up soon for a catch-up, probably in Liverpool. They are all mostly, living and working in London, young superstars in the making.

I was (am) absolutely chuffed, buzzing.


People are amazing.

Thanks for reading


Published by Riff

Husband to my inspirational, (long suffering,) wife Gail, father to two, amazing (adult) children, Aubrey & Perri, teacher, former guitarist. When I started this blog I quickly became granda(r) to my beautiful, first grandson Henderson. Grandparenting, something I was relishing but had began to believe I would not get to experience. I now have three incredible grandsons, Henderson, Fennec and just days ago Nate. I Love people. I love my family, my incredible friends, I have love(d) what I do (my Job), I love Music, Glastonbury Festival, Cars, Everton .... I love many things but, most of all, I fucking love life.

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