And so last week I used up some of my hard-collected airmiles to buy me a trip to Glasgow to visit my mate M from uni. Funnily enough, it was glorious sunshine as I stepped off the plane an hour later, which made a change from the grey and wet Manchester I'd left behind.
The last time I saw her, nearly seven years ago, was also the last time I was in Scotland - it was at her wedding, a lavish affair at Loch Lomond. Beautiful.
However, this time, I met her in the throes of an extremely nasty divorce, with three young children tow (aged two, five and six). It was heartbreaking.
We should have met up in happier circumstances but she'd been living in Dubai and before then, Hong Kong, so when I heard she'd moved back to the UK, my priority was to see her.
I shared a house as a student with M (her bed too but that's another story and really, rather boring. No, really!) and she was one of my closest friends. As well as being older and wiser, what had happened to her and the ongoing divorce proceedings had changed and drained her. Her children alternately kept her sane and drove her insane.
After a few beers and glasses of wine, I saw flashes of her old wit and sarcasm but despite keeping her mind focussed on other things, eg keeping fit, 10k runs etc, she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. The troubles I have in my life just paled into significance.
But as is always the case, I was a big hit with the kids - kept them amused on the outdoor trampoline, bug-hunting in the garden, drawing and colouring. Oh and of course, the origami came in handy!
On the Wednesday, she took me to her sports club, which is close to the Rangers football training ground. Whilst we were there tucking into a fried breakfast, a load of young, tanned men strolled in, obviously footballers although I didn't know any of them. But I did recognise one of the older guys - Ally McCoist of 'A Question Of Sport' fame. Was too hungover to go ask him for an autograph or picture, and didn't want to wade past the WAG-wannabes who were preening themselves in the restaurant area.
Well, it was a short trip but well worth it to catch up and it was a good little break for me.