Simon Macbeth, Leeds – Free At Last Part 2 of 5

Simon Macbeth had started the day by walking around with a stupid self-satisfied smile on my face and ended it feeling completely fed up.

When I escaped work just before midnight on New Years Eve, I couldn’t find anybody I knew in our regular haunts. I’d got no way of finding them until at half past one I went into a bar I’d not seen before and found them all having a good time. Ella hadn’t spoken to me all day and I thought I’d blown it. After a little grovelling and a lot of drink, she was back in my arms and we were friends again. A couple of days later we all went home.

None of us really kept in touch, although three weeks later we met up again in Birmingham. In those three weeks I had written to Debbie and received a couple of replies. Debbie was also in our group in Butlin’s and had become good friends with Ella. Ella ended up seeing these letters that I’d written to Debbie and got a bit upset, maybe jealous that I’d gone to all of that effort and time to keep in contact with Debbie and not her.

After spending a couple of lovely nights in Birmingham as a group, we all returned home and things were good between us.

The following Valentines Day was when Butlin’s reopened and staff returned for the new season. I was still in my final year at college. After giving the possibility of returning to Butlin’s quite a lot of thought, I decided that I couldn’t waste the one and a half years I’d already ploughed into my college course. Out of everything I’ve done in my life, that is the only significant thing that I have ever regretted.

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