In many respects, John and Tony are two of my closest friends.
Not ‘closest’ as in ‘long-standing’. We have only known each other for about 2½ years. But we have speak frequently about all manner of random stuff. John is a fellow member of the Meet the Parents podcast team. Tony and I regularly chat on Twitter.
We are all fellow bloggers. John blogs about fatherhood and technology at dadyougeek. Tony recently switched focus from parenting to fitness via his new blog, Getting Dad Fit. More than that, he was the first blogger I ever met in person.
Last weekend the three of us congregated in London for a day of eating, drinking, watching sport and generally shooting the breeze. No set agenda, no expectations – just three dads getting together for the sheer hell of it. It’s a luxury we don’t often enjoy as parents.
Our day started with lunch at Five Guys. Tony is something of a burger connoisseur and I have been known to enjoy the odd one or eleven. Happily fuelled up, we then went in search of a pub with good beer and live sport on TV. Eventually we stumbled upon an excellent Dutch bar in Soho – De Hems on Macclesfield Street, if you’re ever passing that way – that ticked both boxes and was happy to accommodate us for the next six hours.
We talked sport. We chatted about our fellow bloggers. We discussed the itinerant life of an army family and about 500 other things that may have become slightly fuzzy in a haze of Belgian beer and double vodkas. Basically we had a good afternoon together. Three guys unencumbered for a few hours by parenting responsibilities, work or anything else of a serious nature.
It’s not something I do often enough.
Heather has her local network of neighbours and fellow mums who she regularly goes out with. I’ve always encouraged her to do that; it’s important for her sanity. And yet it’s not something I often do myself. I really am terrible at taking my own advice …
The thing is, I’ve never had a particularly wide circle of male mates. Indeed, over the years I have realised I find it much easier to make female friends. The vast majority of my blogging chums are women. But when you come across chaps such as John and Tony, you hold on to those friendships as the precious commodities they are. The three of us come from different backgrounds and we rarely see each other – I think this was only the third time we have all met in person – but good friendships rise above such limitations, right? Especially when the drinks flow freely.