I have just had one of the strangest experiences of my life.
I live in a very remote village. Like, really remote. Between us and Scotland there's nothing but empty land, cold fells and forest. The next village, a mile and a half along the road, is also very remote, but it has a pub. We go in there periodically. We are on first-name-chatting-terms with the owners, Malcolm and Jayne. We like it there. It serves good beer, good food and always has a warm fire. We take our friends in there when they visit. That's why we were in there tonight - for the first time in 2015 - taking Steve White for a pint or two before dinner.
Ten years ago, my life was very different. I lived a long way away, and I was in an inadvisable relationship with a man 30 years my senior. He is a very talented bass player. He played in a few very good bands. Two of the best local ones were Pass The Cat and Buick Six, both of whom featured a drummer called Liam Genockey. Google him. I don't really need to say any more. He's very, very, very good. Anyway, Liam's a good guy. I always liked him, and he's very close to my ex-partner, but I haven't seen him or spoken to him for ten years. Prior to this evening there was no reason to imagine that I would ever see him again.
Anyway, so we're sitting there in this very remote pub in a very remote village that on a very good night will have 30 customers, and on a January night is empty apart from us and two other couples. Steve and Adam and I are on our second drink and pretty merry with it. And the door opens and I look up and there's Liam walking into this pub in the middle of nowhere. He doesn't look any different. He looks exactly the same. Like, it could have been ten years ago at a Pass The Cat gig at the Wipers in Rye. He is that recognisable.
I can't help myself shouting, "Liam!" in shock, and then going up to him - this woman of almost 36 that was pretty much a child the last time he saw her - and saying, "You won't remember me, but I'm xxxx's ex-girlfriend, and what the hell are you doing here?" And he did remember me - I can genuinely tell that he did, despite all the years and the pints of cider they represent - and we talk and it turns out that he's down the road in Brampton with a whole band to record for a week, and though I don't know them as well, I remember some of them, too.
So we chat and we reminisce a bit and he's very sweet. Liam takes my number and says he'll come for tea some time in the next few days.
And it's just weird, man. It's just weird. It's like the Venn diagram of my life crossed in a new place and I don't really know how to deal with that. I moved to the other end of the country and the world is small. The world is good - my life now is good - but it is SO small.