A Grand Day Out by Lori Smith

Published on 3 March 2004 in Friends, Gratitude, Happiness, Moment (Please wait)

A few years ago I made some new friends through a small web community. We chatted for hours about everything and nothing, becoming so close that I thought the reality could never be as good. When I finally met them all for the first time at a house party, they were a wonderful group of people and we had a great time. Despite the dim view most ‘normal’ people take of those you meet online, these really were genuine friends.

We have had several parties since and, as the community grew, the gatherings got bigger. People came from Ireland, Germany and The Netherlands to our homes in England where there were webcams set up for all of those in the website’s chatroom to enjoy the party with us, even though they couldn’t make the journey to be there in person. Out of all the people I have met through this community, four of them have a very special place in my heart, two of which appear in this photo.

My boyfriend was away and I was bored, so I suggested a day out to Sam. Dave was already visiting her that weekend so I popped round to join them on the Friday night and we spent a fabulous evening chatting and drinking until the early hours. On the Saturday we decided that we really should go somewhere interesting for the day and so made our minds up over lunch to go to Castle Howard in the lovely Yorkshire countryside for a wander around the gardens. After stopping off to buy some sunscreen, we headed out of the city in Dave’s car listening to Evanescence at an absurdly high volume, and soon found ourselves at one of England’s grand stately homes.

This photo sums up that day for me. Once we’d posed like statues on empty plinths and taken pictures by the lake, as Sam put her shoes back on after dipping her toes in the water I had this idea to take a photo of our feet. The picture reminds me of the fun we had that day and the wonderful friends I have. It’s days like that which make life seem really good and the countless weeks spent at work fade away in my memory. Here’s to more happy times in the future.

Lori Smith (Manchester, UK)

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