The car was packed for the long drive home this afternoon, and the time had come to start rounding up my grubby children - tired but happy from a brilliant weekend of non-stop playing with old pals, and a too-short night on a blow-up mattress.
I stood in the garden with my friend, car keys in hand, and we had one last laugh at the expense of our deliciously sensitive and over-dramatic sons:
"You're MEAN Mummy, you just don't understand how I FEEL", I mocked.
"Mummy, this has been the WORST day of my LIFE", she mimicked.
And then we cackled like hags, shoulders shaking as we tried to laugh quietly so the children wouldn't know we were talking about them.
Yes, I managed to dig myself out of Cheshire and plant myself back here in southern soil ... but one thing I've learnt is that friendships like that one don't grow on trees.