My Best Friends

What a fucking sissy sounding title. I hope I've dispelled any soppy notions you may have had. Let's get down to it - people have best friends. They usually change with circumstance and thus with time. It is possible, therefore, to trace my past through my best friends. Let us do just that.

Peter Vine

I reckon this is the best place to start. When you're a tiny kid, and you're not yet going to school, who's your best friend? The tiny kid in the next house. Peter lived across the road from me in my first house in Kenton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Were those the halcyon days of my youth? I don't know. They were fun, though. Life was one long game (with a break every two years to visit Accident & Emergency) and it went on forever.

Benjamin Hewitt

And then to school. Ascham House Junior School. New circumstance. New friends. I was now spending this large chunk of my time at a completely different place, with all these other kids the same age as me. We were young, without prejudice, so we did the only natural thing, we became friends. I remember Benjamin as being the best of those friends - or at least that's how it seemed through my eyes. After all, it was he who taught me to stick up two fingers at people. Ah, those were the days, and they went on forever.

Andrew Aitchison

But school is a conveyor belt, and once you're on you're moving. Ascham House Middle School. New best friend. The kid I sat next to in class, of course, Andrew. The memories come flooding back. I tell you, everyone should write one of these pages - it can only make you happy, I assure you. Ascham House was, of course, more fun. The middle school was much bigger than the junior school, so it was filled with loads more people. My time there, and my one year at the senior school, seem so far away now, but it definitely went on forever.

Andrew Swift

I only spent one year in the seniors because I then changed school - it was off to the RGS for me. New faces again. And who was the kid I sat next to in class? Andrew, my new best friend! We got along very well, as best friends do. We shared interests, and whatever. We're still friends to this day, being that we went all the way through the RGS together. But we did, however, drift slightly apart with the passage of time, and before I left the junior school I had a different best friend...

Simon Raw

Now Simon Raw and Matthew Bates had both gone to Ascham House as well, and we three had been to the same school for our whole lives. Our parents obviously knew each other, so it was only natural that we should hang around together. I just seemed closer to Simon than Matthew. In fact, many people initially thought that we were brothers because of our shared histories, the time we spent together, and that we looked similar. But I had a different temperament. I drifted again.

Christopher Land

By now we were all in the senior school. Now we got to wear black uniforms - way cooler! We were suddenly awash with more new faces. Things are a bit confused here, but I certainly know that at the first year camp at Wensleydale, Christopher Land was for sure my best friend. We really got very close, because we had very similar temperaments. Together we came up with whole worlds in our heads; together we were kings, together we were invincible. But Christopher left the school, and I was left alone.

Damien Richardson

Damien and I had a lot in common, and our mutual interest in role-playing games and the like was what brought us together. In a short time, we became very good friends, but a short time was all we had. Damien left the school as well, moving down to Chichester, and we never got in contact with each other again. I've always blamed myself for this, but in retrospect, what else could have been done? It would have just been a friendship by correspondence, and we would have drifted.

Nathan Smith

By this time, I've moved from Kenton and live in East Boldon, which was where Nathan was as well. Getting the train with him every day to school made us close. I didn't have many friends who lived close to me and went to the same school. I'd visit him a lot at his house, and got to know his family very well. I guess this is more like a traditional friendship that you're all used to, but I didn't really hang out with the children near where I lived. Nathan was the big exception. But, of course, we drifted.

Nick McMahon

I don't recall how I met Nick. We were so unlike each other, though. However, we got along famously. Nick was also someone who was into RPG's which my friends will tell you I'm passionate about. I spent many a lunch hour discussing Rifts with Nick in the weights room. We also sat next to each other in many of our classes, which as I'm sure you know is a great way of passing the time in a particularly boring class. Time passed, we drifted just that little bit.

Mo Mansoori

Then Mo was my best friend, and still is a very close friend indeed. We shared foreign backgrounds (he's Persian, I'm half Greek), fencing, role-paying games, everything. He also introduced me to In brief... which was instrumental in my social life. We were at the time old and wise, princes of the school, as we went into sixth form, looking all smart in our suits. Mo was great, Mo is great. If you're reading this; respect. But then the unexpected happened.

Clare Tavernor

It's the stuff of movies. Two best friends separated by their love of the same woman. I'll not go into the details here. Suffice to say that Mo ended up not talking to me at all after that. It was a bitter time for us. But I was in love with Clare, and it seemed to me to be the best thing that could ever have happened. I assure you that this was true love. Clare was the Irish girl at the In brief... meetings, two years younger than me, and all I ever wanted. But unfortunately we were unsuitable for each other at the time. It couldn't last. We split apart.

Michael Harwood

I consider Michael to still be my best friend now. Michael really introduced me to heavy metal, instrumental in my musical upbringing, and one Hell of a lot of the contents of this website is written with him in mind. He joined the RGS in the sixth form, and him, me, and Mo, with whom all differences were again reconciled, could always be found together. These were the best days of my life, I think. The work was easy, the social life was everything. The friendships are still going and growing. May they never end.

Steven Wallace

When we left school, we all went to different universities. Now I lived in Newcastle and in Edinburgh. So what I needed was another best friend, but at Uni. Steve and I were in the same halls of residence together, we were in the same societies, we were both gamers, we were both cynical bastards. When we got together we ripped anyone else apart. Damn, but it was fun. We did last a whole year, but I think we just drifted apart, like everyone else before.

Chris Doonan

In my second year at Uni, I was no longer in halls. Instead, I spent the year in a flat in Morningside, Edinburgh, with Chris Doonan, an Irishman from Northumbria, and Scott Wallace, a Glaswegian born in South Africa. A strange mix. But we never had a fight. I had known Chris for longer, so I naturally got on slightly better with him, and he was my best friend for the year. But in my final year we were more distant because I was in halls again, and he was living elsewhere. But we still remained great friends.

Ruth Patrick

It took Catt to tell me that Ruth was my best friend at university. I talk to her about anything and everything, and she returns the favour. Our friendship is so close, and now that I'm leaving university, I feel that I may lose her. We met through her brother, a school friend, and I was charged to look after her by her mother. Our time together seems to be made up of mainly drinking sessions and late night chats. What more could you need in a friend? Losing Ruth will hurt, if it ever happens. May it never.

Max MacDonald

By the very end of my tenure at university, it seemed to me that I was spending a lot of my time with Max, and the inevitable best friends thing happened again. We actually met some time earlier through his brother who also went to Heriot-Watt, but I got along better with Max for whom I acted like a mentor. By the time I was leaving uni, he had just turned 18, two and a half years younger than me. We've stayed in touch, as I've gone to work in the real world, and Max has become the university student. Hopefully we'll keep staying in touch.

Lin Lewis

As I left my final year of university, I knew I'd have a new best friend, and I assumed it would be someone at my new place of work. I was right, but it took a whole year before I met Lin. I wasn't close enough to anyone else there, and there were certainly few people who were on the same wavelength as me. But Lin is one of the crazy ones, and we get along like a house on fire. Instrumental in my move from Salisbury to Southampton, our relationship is still developing so I'll not make too much of a comment right now.


I think it's fair to say that you can usually only tell who your best friends were in hindsight. In the present, things seem so much different. You can seem so close to someone one day, and a thousand miles apart the next. Time will tell. It always does. And when I hear from it, I'll post the results here, for all to see and be indifferent to...