Long distance friendship is always a tricky thing to manage.
You want to keep up with each other's lives without annoying one & other. You want to Skype but you're never free at the same time. Emails can ping back and forth and before you know it the months have sailed by.
If you don't just say "bugger this, I'm coming to see you!" then you could risk your connection slipping into obscurity and losing the friendship all together. It'll just be one of those things where you look back years from now and say "I wonder what ever happened to so & so...".
Well, you know I'm not one to shy away from a little cross-boarder adventure.
This time I headed over to Italy, Positano to be exact, to spend the weekend with friends.
Positano is a little town on the Almafi coast. It creeps its way from the sea up to the hilltops with a spread of coloured houses and cobbled streets. When I arrived the temperature was rocketing up to the 40s so we grabbed our swimmers and went straight down to Giuseppe's boat.
We slipped along the coastline in our tiny wooden ship. Past cliffs, caves, huge houses and even bigger yachts.
We found a little cove we liked the look of so Gabbi dropped anchor.
After a swim, a snorkel around the rocks and a little mid-morning snooze in the roasting sun, we headed off again.
Past Poseidon's caves.
And onto Nerano. Nerano is a tiny little township with a beach heaving with Italian tourists. Sail into the bay, tie up your boat and head right to the Maria Grazia restaurant.
It's a world famous little restaurant on the rocks. Very simple and family run. Order local wine with peaches and a selection of whatever they think is good that day.
We had aubergines.
Great big hunks of mozzarella, and smoked mozzarella which you have to try!
A selection of fried goodies.
Including these courgette flowers stuffed with mozzarella.
And little balls of risotto.
And their signature dish, courgette pasta. Which they apparently invented, and has spread throughout Italy.
We topped off a long, lazy lunch with figs as sweet as honey and dark, rich coffees.
I ran back to the jetty to save burning my feet on the hot pebbles and waited for the others to join me. Chuckling at my misfortune we all jumped into a little taxi boat boat and headed back to ours. Check out how wonderfully macho the restaurant taxi drivers are...
We said "ciao" to the bustling Italians and set off with the early evening setting behind us, through the inky blue sea, back to Positano.
With a little stop on the way for one last cooling dip.
A hell of a first day in what is fast becoming one of my favourite countries, with some of my favourite people.