Alison Goulding: Beyonce is a robot

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A GOOD friend never goes out of fashion.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen them for ages, you meet up and five minutes later you’re right back where you were.

I headed off to London on Saturday morning to see my pal Katherine, who I met a decade ago at university.

A lot has changed since then, but not her spooky ability to conjure up fun from nowhere. I have never known anyone be able to cram so much good stuff into a day as her.

We met at London Bridge and jumped on a river boat to Greenwich while she caught me up on the latest scandal and gossip.

Then we had a poke around the market which is very cute and where you can buy mad things like girdles from the Second World War and sushi (not from the same shop).

After that we went to a little cafe where you can choose a piece of pottery and paint it while you drink hot chocolate.

The only downside is that there are loads of children running about, so any truly scandalous subject had to be discussed using metaphors to prevent their ears bursting into flames.

We were as happy as sandboys sitting there and daubing paint about and planning an October expedition to Thailand.

She chose a mug, I went for a heart-shaped pillbox to keep my aspirin in.

Her pattern choice was ambitious and colourful and involved a lot of writing, while mine was somewhat low key. It had echoes of the days when we lived together and Katherine would spend hours putting on elaborate acrylic nails while I lay on the sofa watching Countdown.

After that we went for pre-cinema cocktails and I had my very first Margarita. The salt made my brain hurt, but the lovely tequila was good compensation.

Our film of choice was Black Swan.

FYI, if you’re thinking of going with your parents, don’t. It’s a bit frisky in parts.

That said, if you’re a girl and your boyfriend likes Natalie Portman (all men do by the way, even the ones who say they don’t) then it’s the gift of a lifetime for him.

That said, it was a very good film and has definitely made me see ballet with new eyes rather than being the perfect time for a nap.

On Sunday we had a roast and watched the Beyonce concert DVD. How anyone can crowd surf in a gold leotard and still hit every note is a mystery to me, though for ages I have thought she is really just a sexy robot who escaped from NASA and started releasing albums ...

Then it was time to head back to sunny Sunderland in time for work the next day.

Which I didn’t mind one bit. I love going away, but it’s just as nice to come back. The break has also proved to be good motivation.

Katherine’s extensive DIY projects (including a hand-made mosaic) have prompted me to tackle some of my own.

Which means this weekend will involve a lot of glossing sideboards and a professional carpet cleaner. That’s right, I’m living the dream.