Monday, 9 November 2009

Old Friends And New

Last weekend was such a perfect social mixture that I feel as if I've had a holiday. It began on Friday night with dinner at our place for three couples, people I met through work about eight years ago. We know each other fairly well, now; they no longer feel like new friends, and they're good relaxing company, although they don't yet feel quite like old friends. The evening was great fun: all the food was well received (hardly any leftovers!!) and the conversation flowed as readily as the wine.

On Saturday my Paramour and I went to stay with my old friend Amy and her children aged 10 and 11. She and I have been friends for more than half our lives, so she is definitely in the 'old friend' category. My Paramour and I have spent so much time at her house that we know where everything is, and she and her children treat us as part of the family. Again, we ate, drank and talked non-stop. Amy has recently split from an unsuitable bloke - a perfectly nice man, but one who turned out to be rather possessive and controlling, and was therefore a slightly inhibiting influence on her friendships over the last couple of years. There were some positive aspects to this, too - he encouraged and supported her to get more qualifications, which has helped her professionally - but my Paramour and I are not sorry he's off the scene. We all relaxed into each other's company in a way we haven't been able to do for a while, and it was a real joy.

Then last night we had our new neighbours round for wine and pizzas. And they're lovely! The children - Jack (six, nearly seven) and Anna (four and a half) - were good company: well behaved, chatty and confident. Mark is a self-employed builder and Carrie is a teacher, and it didn't take us long to discover that we all share a very similar world view. I think they will be good neighbours. It's too early to know whether they will also be good friends, but all the signs are positive.

It didn't occur to me, until I sat down to write this post, that we'd had such a perfect mix of old friends, new friends, and those inbetween. Friendships do develop, shift and change, and sometimes end. I have felt sad, recently, about a couple of long-standing friendships that seem to be on the way out, so I find it helpful to remember that it's also possible to make new friends. A wise friend said to me recently that friendships ebb and flow like the tide. I value my friends enormously - and that includes my blogfriends *waves to you*. So much so that, if I had to choose between my writing and my friends, my friends would win hands down.


JJ Beattie said...


How lovely. What a completely gorgeous sounding weekend.

We're skiing with our tippity top best friends at Christmas. We have been living 6000 miles away from them for over four years and I truly cannot wait to spend a week with them.

Friends are top: all kinds of 'em.

Pat said...

'So much so that, if I had to choose between my writing and my friends, my friends would win hands down.'

Gosh - that's a really BIG thing to say.
I don't know how I would have survived my difficult years without close friends but sadly things changed when I found happiness and it isn't as simple and crass as my dropping them because I didn't need them anymore. It was their reaction to a different me. Just as we were separated by distance we were separated by feelings. I can't really explain it.

Pat said...

Just catching up on posts I've missed. Another milestone - well done. I'm getting close to starting re-write. Have found Solutions very helpful. Am definitely going to shorten my chapters. I think when I expanded the original posts I managed to lose some of the cliff- hangers. I'm also going to change the title so publishers won't say 'Oh not that old thing again':)

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Ha, and this is a great example of how your life is enhanced by being childfree! Weekends like that are very rare - even seem to be impossible - for we parents. Still, pros and cons yadda yadda.

So good that your new neighbours are shaping up so well, that's brilliant.

Debs said...

Sounds like you had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

Friends do tend to come and go over the years, but then it's nice to catch up with people you haven't seen for a while.

Queenie said...

JJ, I hope you all have a really great time.
Pat, I think you explained it just fine: friendships change as people change. So glad Solutions is helping. Your plans sound sensible - get all those cliff-hangers back in; you're so good at writing them and they make people turn pages!
BF: Good point! All the people we hung out with were parents - but of course each of them only shared part of our weekend.
Debs: true, and it's lovely when you see someone you haven't seen for ages and you drop into your mutual friendship groove as if you only saw each other last week.

Anonymous said...

that's such a lovely post - I can really relate particularly having just made a splendid new Friend. And yes, spending time with all my friends is a refreshing and energising experience.

Debi said...

Lucky you don't have to make that choice! And of course writing has also brought you some of those new friends who will hopefully continue to enrich your life.

Now ... word ver is Alice. Who she? The new friend waiting round the corner? *cue spooky music*