Oct 23

In the old days, back when I was a reporter, I went on a tourist trip to Northern Ireland. Which sounds a bit strange.

I worked for a newspaper in England and was always looking for ways to help publicise my home. Somehow or other, I can’t remember how, I was doing a story on Ulster and spoke to the province’s tourist board. They invited me over for a “fam trip” – for me obviously it was a free trip home.

Anyway, sometimes I brought friends with me on my visits home and the girl in charge of the trip told me I was bringing “actual tourists” as opposed to visitors who were VFR – visiting friends and relatives. I was reminded of that this week as I had a bunch of visitors.

Two English guys from London came across as part of their tour of the Deep South. That was followed by another English friend who currently lives in Australia. The day after she left two more Californian friends came in. Next week another five arrive.

So part of it was tour guide, part of it was simply meeting up with old friends. Friends, friends, friends… always good to catch up with people from your past. Because they are also your present, and will become your future as well.

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