There’s nothing like catching up with friends to make you smile, whether it’s a letter or postcard, a phone call or answer phone message, a text, a tweet, a comment on FB or a popping in. I’m 45 and have accumulated a vast array of friends and contacts throughout my four and a half decades but I can’t possibly keep in touch with everyone all at the same time, but it doesn’t mean I am not thinking of them. Far from it!
This week I am having supper with a friend who I’ve not seen for ages – I can’t remember the last time I saw her, I think it was July 2013 which is madness as she lives in Sunningdale and I live in Wokingham. There’s not a vast amount of miles but she works full time, has a busy social life with lots of interests and I have a busy life, a husband who works wonky hours and three children whose diary needs military precision, not to mention my housework avoidance and a busy life. It will be fun – we will catch up on all the news, chat about everything, eat and drink and then say we must do that again soon. However soon that might be.
At the weekend I am having lunch with a college friend. We met when we were 17 at secretarial college and lived in the same house for a term, she then moved out but we saw each other every day for our lessons. We both left college we went our separate ways, we saw each other lots during the 21st year of parties and then lost touch until we got back in touch whilst working in the City. Shortly after that she moved to Wales and despite all my Welsh journeys our worlds didn’t collide! All those times I had gone to Wales and I never got to see her, we lost touch again but then hurrah she was on Twitter and Facebook and the lines of communication were open again. It’s going to be so strange catching up with her after 20 years or so but it will be fun and as we enter a new chapter in our friendship we will have much to talk about!
This morning I spoke to a friend who said she would hope to pop in over half term but it’s going to be manic but it doesn’t mean we’re not thinking of each other. I think of my friends on a daily basis. When I look at Facebook or Twitter I see something and think I will comment on it when I get the chance, when I look at my diary and see a birthday is coming up I will write a card and pop it in the post, if I miss a birthday I will drop a note to say I am a rubbish friend but I was thinking of you. Friends share their lives with people in so many different ways these days, I look at Instagram and Pinterest as postcards nowadays. That’s acceptable because we all have busy lives and sometimes there isn’t the chance to drop everything and dash off on a whim.
I also spoke to someone who has had some negativity from someone else who because she hasn’t picked up the phone and made contact. Oh friendship you fickle beast. Who’s responsibility is it to make the first move? Who is on the moral high ground because they are the ones to always pick up the phone. Sometimes I feel that I am doing all the running but some friends appreciate this because they know that I will get in touch, some I don’t make the effort with as much as others. It doesn’t make me a bad person though. If I had all day to be sociable with everyone in my world I would have no time to do those things that I need to do.
Last year a friend got in touch and told us the devastating news that she had a brain tumour, what followed was months of catching up, making memories and ensuring that she would never be forgotten. It didn’t matter to her that we had not seen here when she was visiting her family in the UK, it didn’t worry us that we would be catching up with people that we had lost contact with because we had the foundations of firm friendship and friends shouldn’t bear grudges that someone hasn’t picked up the phone.
I’m feeling sad today to hear that Lynda Bellingham has died. Like my late father she had bowel cancer and like Charch she gave up treatment. What she did do in her last few months was get people talking, people commented on blogs and posts, we told our children about the nation’s favourite mother who was there for us with her gravy adverts, the wife of the vet we all loved in All Creatures Great and Small, the hilarious woman who graced our screens and latterly the brave and courageous woman who chose to share her decision with the world. She leaves behind family and friends.
What are you waiting for? Don’t delay. Why don’t you pick up the phone or put pen to paper with a friend you’ve been meaning to call if only to say hello.