Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I like my friends. But trying to cram a whole year's worth of socialising into one month can be a bit draining.

During my last ‘brief’ visit to the UK, I contacted several of my friends quite early on – to deliberately get seeing them out of the way. Don’t get me wrong – they’re my friends and I wanted to spend time with them – but I didn’t want to spend my final week burning myself out hopelessly trying to cram them all in either. I needed to relax. So, I met up with several people quite early on, considering.

Strangely, most of these meetings concluded with the same exchange:

Them: “So, when are you going back to New Zealand?”
Me: “I’m going back on (INSERT DATE HERE).”
Them: “How long will you be back there for?”
Me: “I really don’t know – I’m open-minded.”
Them: “Do you like living in New Zealand?”
Me: “Yes.”
Them: (thoughtfully)”Well – we must get together again before you go – when are you next free?”

So much for keeping the final week of my holiday clear.

This year then, I was ready. When I got back to the UK, I simply didn’t tell anyone I was back. Well, I wasn’t going to tell anyone until the last fortnight anyway. It seemed the best, politest solution. After all, as I’d told several friends in New Zealand, I’d spent the past year being extrovert to survive, and now I really needed to go home and be introverted again for a bit.

So, my first few weeks passed, and I did very little. In fact, I did call one or two friends, but had trouble getting hold of them. Serves me right, perhaps.

In “the good old days” we used to all get together to make movies. Long, bizarre, silly films that only I really wanted to make, and which to this day are still not finished. I would worry that some people thought I was more interested in the films than in them. The truth is that while I needed my friends to finish the films, I wanted them because I liked them.

Eventually this month I found myself sitting back on the Richmond Riverside development, no doubt downing yet another Frijj drink, and saying “God – I really need to film.”

Generally speaking, one doesn’t really feel friendships, but I really wanted to advance my films a bit closer to completion while I was here.

It is true that some of my friends would not have been phoned had I not still needed some more footage of them.

It is also true though, that over the years, filming has really enabled me to stay in touch with so many friends that I would probably otherwise have lost contact with.

As a result, my final full week here has indeed been stressfully crammed with seeing as many of my friends as possible… and it’s been wonderful.

Peace, man
Chris was the first friend I saw here. Ironically I know him from Edge Church in Auckland. He’s effectively become my opposite number by travelling over here looking for work. He’s been staying at my house, but has just found a flat and moved out.

Oh wait a minute, I forgot the 3 family cats…

It all looks so peaceful...
Left to right on the armchairs are Seven and her son Pompey, while watching from behind is the big-eyed newcomer Erik. Erik used to belong to my Auntie Joan, however he moved here after she died last February.

La la-la la-la Look-Innn!
Mutant spider
A new friend, rather than an old one. Can you spot them? Click to enlarge.

Left to right: Me, Cousin John, Cousin-Once-Removed Jean, Cousin-Once-Removed-In-Law Paul and Mother Josie.

I can’t even name all these people, but next to me, right to left, are my oldest friend Alistair, David and Pam. Also present are Alex (in blue) and Dave (by door), and the photo was taken by Jo. (reflected behind the flash in the window)

Kiwi Chris again, helping out with filming.

If there were a fight between The Customer and Goold, who would win?

The ticket machine eats Gideon's hand
Left to right – Gideon (who I haven’t seen for 8 years) and Rob. (who I haven’t caught up with for 4!)

A manic meal with Mr Monty
Reunited with Monty at the old Christmas Cracker restaurant. We filmed some shots beforehand, but got started late, and then overran, so I was absolutely gutted when our meal wound up rushed. Must clear an evening properly next time, like I did with...

The biggest smile in the world?  Wait 'til you see the NEXT picture!
College friend Suze! No filming whatever with her. We finished that in 1999, and haven’t seen each other for 7 years! Since then she’s been in Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet, The Archers and Walking With Cavemen. And all because she filmed with me first. :)

One man and his fishslice
Gideon again – how can I resist including a friendly photo like this one?

And back to Chris again. No, this isn’t Chris, but this is where I met him tonight - Equippers Church - at the London School Of Economics in Holborn. That place was so full of kiwis, that walking in there was literally like walking through a door back into New Zealand again.

I’m very grateful to Chris. He’s been an unexpected line of continuity for me while I’ve been back, and like so many of my friends, he even helped me out filming too!

It’s been great to see so many people, and actually do something with so many of them.

Stressed? Yes. Burnt-out? Yes.

If only every week was like this.


2 comment(s):

At 4:24 am, Blogger Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

At 4:27 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

It's the blog I was born to write, Biby!



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