A Visitor Who Isn’t A Guest

I’ve spent a lovely day or so in Bristol, staying with an old school friend and her little family (it was this good friend of mine who came with me to last night’s gig). Over breakfast, she and her man were chatting about their daughter’s imminent first birthday. They will be hosting guests, reflecting on the work this would involve, and the comment was made that I didn’t create the same work because I wasn’t like a ‘proper’ guest.

Far from being offended by this, I was flattered that I am seen as an easy going, relaxed houseguest. I don’t demand entertainment (I just enjoy their company) and I generally go with flow and am quite happy to fit around their life stuff. These close friendships are really precious to me. I’m lucky that I have several friends who I’d put in the “visitor not guest” category, some of whom I see more regularly than others.

A bonus of staying with friends in another city is that you get the insider’s perspective on the place and get to see places that you perhaps wouldn’t have stumbled across if you were crashing in a hotel. I ate amazing chocolate cake from a little cafe, had lunch overlooking Clifton Down and sat on a roof terrace bar with views over the city centre. I wouldn’t have found these places by myself.

We also did a lot of walking, especially yesterday. It’s been a really warm couple of days and I am not a huge lover of the heat (I’d pick being too cold over too hot every time), but we made the most of the shady sides of the street. This was mostly for the little one’s benefit, but it meant I enjoyed the walk much more.

I’m home again now, with an extra day off in store for me tomorrow. It feels good to have extra time to enjoy the outdoors in some good weather.

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