We worked together at Tin Can, String and Whistle ten years ago, when we were on the same team.
Peter the Engineer is a quintessential engineer. He has a cow lick. You would mistake him for a pot plant at parties, though he does have a wicked sense of humour when you get to know him. Sometimes, he wears grey cardigans. When you don't know him well, he looks at your shoes when he talks to you. You know, at a push, Peter could fix anything with a bit of gaffer tape, bailing twine and WD40 (all good engineers can do that).
I like Peter We're the same age. He's married with two tween daughters who give him grief. We're nothing alike for the most part, though we're politically aligned.
And by hook or by crook, we meet for lunch once a month, as we have done religiously for the last eight years.
Other than this, we don't mingle in the same circles, though he knows some of my friends from the Tin Can, String and Whistle days.
I like having male friends with whom I can just chew the fat and have a laugh with, and enjoy the fact we know a lot about each other without having to worry about other stuff. I've helped him with his CV and job prep when he was made redundant. It's good.
Today we spoke of him finding his eldest daughter a school and of the bullet that I found I have dodged this week.
We also spoke of the Food Wanker Plan and the pitfalls of being on a restricted diet.
So I sat there with my superfood salad as he tore into burger. I didn't even look at it longingly.
"It's not all bad, this diet."
"I can see that." he said looking over the salad. "You're not being deprived."
"Nope. But it can be had when you want to go somewhere fancy."
"Ah well. Are there any downsides to your regime? You're looking great."
"Thanks, but there is one bad thing about all this?"
"I have the libido of a 25-year-old."
"Yeah, I'm not sure if my patches are a bit strong or it's the diet, but I'm as horny as hell most of the time. It's bad."
"Yes. You'd think I'd be over all of that by now."
He coloured, then looked away, then laughed.
"Yes, I can see it being a bad thing."
"Too right. "
"Indeed, how would you be if your wife was all over you like a rash all of a sudden."
"Very scared. I would be very scared."
"That's what I thought."
As I said, it's good to have lunch with somebody who gets it. We're nearly 50. All that was supposed to be tailing off...