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.