My best friend, Anthony, moved to Australia with his wife and two children in 2015.
They went from living round the corner to living on the other side of the world. It was strange.
I wasn't sad (although I did get choked up saying goodbye) because I was happy for Anthony and all the new adventures he was going to have. He's always been a shorts 'n' flip flops kind of guy (sorry, thongs), so I knew it would be a good fit. I was happy for his wife because she'd be able to spend more time with her family, and happy for the kids being able to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle.
But I was gutted I couldn't just pop round their house for a chat and a beer, and probably a barbeque too. Or meet Ant at a basketball court to shoot a few hoops.
I'd feel worse about the distance if it wasn't for technology. Facetime on our mobile phones means Ant and I can chat and see each other regularly. Well, fairly regularly; I'm a bit rubbish at remembering the time difference!
Whenever we Facetime, Ant's kids get excited and show me their toys or their dance moves or pull silly faces. His wife's the same. ...No, not really. She says hi and drinks delicious-looking coffee that makes me want to reach through the screen and sip some.
Facetime helps to tide me over until their next visit to the UK, which is later this year. I can't wait!
(First published on my blog page 30th January 2017)
Richard Pettitt, cartoonist.