Saturday, 19 July 2008

Ladies who Lunch occasionally

Today I had lunch with two of my closest friends (emotionally, not geographically). We are all 60 something and have known each other for more than 30 years. We have, over time, had many lunches, suppers, days out etc, laughed a lot and lent shoulders and cried on more than one occasion. I believe today was the first time we have all been together socially for at least 2 years. I have seen them both separately and two of us visited our mutual friend when she was in hospital for several weeks last summer. In spite of the infrequent meetings, we find, as with all good friendships, that we just pick up where we left off. Just natter away and catch up on family and mutual friends' news.

I waved cheerio to OH and went off to pick up friend D who lives just down the road and drove the 10 miles to the next town to collect friend H and then on to our chosen venue. And 3 hours later did it all in reverse and came back home to OH. All very simple but very pleasant and enjoyable. We should do it more often.

Before I retired I worked with a "girl" (she is 20 years my junior) who has also become a very close friend, we have said on many occasions that we feel more like sisters. We have known each other for 26 years and we too have had our share of laughter and tears. At work it was mostly laughter and she was probably the reason why I didn't retire sooner. She was the first person I told of my decision to finish work and I wept with her on my last day. I didn't have to promise to "keep in touch" with her, (nor with any of my close ex-colleagues as we had such fun together - a great privilege for me) we both knew that we would, and now, about once a fortnight, I contact her and we "do lunch". It is only for 45 minutes as that is her lunch break but it gives us some time to share some laughs once again. Once in a while I join the "pay day Friday curry night" which has been going for the last 4 or 5 years, and sometimes now it falls on a Wednesday or Thursday!

Another friend - also an ex-colleague - I have known for 20 years and when I first got to know her, she worked part time as she had two small daughters. She is a lovely girl with a beautiful face and smile and in all the time I have known her I have never heard her say anything against anyone. She also is a friend with whom I have laughed lots and shed tears.

About 15 years ago, at a time when my mother happened to be staying with us, one Tuesday when I arrived home from work my mother told me that "a very strange thing happened today"! She had been sitting quietly after lunch when she heard the front door bell. On the door step she was confronted by two small girls who asked for me. "I'm afraid she's still at work" said my mother, "can I help you"? "Please have you got any strawberry jam" enquired the girls and my mother, very perplexed, went immediately to look. Unfortunately the cupboard was bare of any jam that day, strawberry or otherwise, and she returned to report the same to them. And off they went.

"I've no idea who they were" said Mum, "but they did ask for you". Well I didn't exactly have a sleepless night over it as I had an inkling of who this pair might be. And on arriving at work next day all was revealed. My friend with the two daughters came in laughing and between us we relived the events of the previous afternoon. She had been making a sponge cake and realised too late that she had no jam for it. She dispatched her girls off to the local shop to buy some but as it was a Tuesday afternoon it was early closing. The elder of the girls remembered that I lived just up the road and knew that I made cakes so decided I was the next best bet. Sadly they were unlucky at mine but their mummy saved the day and drove to the supermarket, so all ended well. Ever since then, when my friend has mentioned the name "Anne" the girls ask "do you mean Strawberry Jam Anne"? (my friend has a sister Anne). I love it and decided on it for my blog name.

The two little girls are now grown up of course, one has a law degree and the other is a qualified midwife and they are both as lovely as their mother. Last year when the eldest graduated I sent a text via my friend which read "congratulations, well done, with love from Strawberry Jam Anne", which made them laugh and cry!

Weather today - bright warm sunshine but blowing a gale!! What has happened to summer! We need balmy breezes! In the garden, flowering shrubs include bottle brush, hypericum and buddleia. And early this morning, about 6 when I got up I saw a spotted woodpecker on the bird bath having a drink. Lovely!



What a beautiful post. Friendships are so dear and to hold onto them as the years and decades pass is one of the greatest delights ever.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

D - yes I do value my friendships and regret those lost, for whatever reason. A