Dear Stacey;

Last summer, we had some of the best times together we’ve ever had. 2011 was a year of far more ups than downs – we both had jobs, we moved into a flat even more lovely than our last one, and we had enough money to ensure we could do some fun things too.

I find it quite sad that by the end of summer this year, I might not be in the same flat / city / country as you. And I know that this is my choice, but I’ve been torn between being in Scotland with you and being down south with my family for some time now. I miss being able to just pop round to my grandparents to have tea, or being there with my mum when my little brother come round. I know you understand all this – but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Last summer started with a trip to Long Division to see Los Campesinos!. We had booked tickets and a rare mutual day off work, travelled down to Wakefield and stayed in a Travelodge. The gig was fun; packed, and slightly drunken – and the chat afterwards made the whole thing even more of a buzz. That and being anywhere away with you.

And then, just a few weeks later, we headed to 2000 Trees, to see Frightened Rabbit, Twin Atlantic,the Twilight Sad and LC!, again. The festival was brilliant – one of the high points to my summer. The first evening was slightly rainy, but we still managed to shout along to Twin, (my first time seeing them live) and then cuddle up in our little tent afterwards. The next day was sunny and bright, and the beer was good and the food was even better. Lying on my back with my head resting on your stomach, chatting with the girls from Los Camp! (Harriet liked your shoes, remember?!) and then seeing Frabbit (I’m working on erasing you – just don’t have the proper tools) together.

And just the next weekend – heading down to Huntingdon to go to Secret Garden Party and see J. Probably too long, too much for us – can’t quite party as crazy as all that, could we? But lots of fun, with ball pits and swimming in the lake, face paints and body paints and beer. Oh so much beer. Seeing Cosmo Jarvis and barely seeing Debbie Harry. I don’t think I could have / would have wanted to do it with anyone else but you.

And then we came back and moved into our lovely new flat, signing a year-long lease and not even contemplating that the year might be a countdown. You took me for a wonderful birthday surprise – tickets to see Lady Garden during Edinburgh Festival, a five-star afternoon tea at an Edinburgh hotel, presents and drinks with the folk from my work. (Have I mentioned how lucky I am?) And then the parties at our new flat – with old friends, and the same old places that we always go, but that always treat us well.

And you being accepted into Law School (something I wanted so much for you), and our last ditch adventure to Budapest as a secret trip (yes, to see Los Campesinos! again). Four days of adventure, exploring a new city, eating McDonalds and pizza and drinking cheap beer – swimming in the baths and buying cheap cigarettes to smoke everywhere we walked. It was so warm – it didn’t feel right that when we arrived back to Birmingham and cold and real life again!

There’s now 6 months until we have to resign that lease, or move out of this pretty little flat – so there is a countdown now. And summer feels like it was both so long ago and is so far away, and yet I’m sure it’ll come round again soon and we’ll be making plans, one way or another. I hope, more than anything, that we have a summer even better than the last one.

Love,

Carley

Carley

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