Friendship and thoughts...

posted on: Friday, 23 January 2015

I spent last weekend in the company of my University friends, steeped in old times. We went to a lovely country house hotel called 'The Pig' and they let us mooch about from morning coffee, to long lunch to cocktails to afternoon tea, discreetly shepherding us between an array of beautiful rooms with open fires. Seeing my old friends was a salve; collectively we did that thing of slipping back into comfortable ways. I wanted them to get me and they did. It was thought-provoking and gloriously sentimental and everything I thought we would be when we were 40. Over twenty years of friendship under our belt.

These girls (women; they'll always be girls to me, despite the crusade of wrinkles and greying hair!) and I have such history. We know the back-story. We've filled in the blanks. It's unlike any friendship made later in life. The funny thing is that people always say that University years are the best years of your life. For me, University was a somewhat strange time. I met my husband in my first term and he lived, for the whole duration of my time studying, 200 miles away. So I feel like I did my degree stretched across the miles, mapping time between his visits. These girls propped me up and formed me. It was with them that I whiled away afternoons, lecture-free hours, watching re-runs of 'Anne of Green Gables' and 'Thirty-something'.

It's timely because for the first time ever I have started seriously considering going back in to education. I occurred to me, after some prompting, that maybe with all of this time I have on my hands, I should be learning, studying, becoming something else. I am looking into Creative Writing degrees; thinking maybe I should do a Masters. This is new. It has been living in my thoughts for a week now and is taking up more and more space, blooming like ink in water as a real possibility.

So that's good.

Meanwhile, it's winter-cold and frosty. Not one morning has passed this week where I haven't wanted to stay in bed. Walking with the pup through icy fields, where the puddles have frozen and he picks his paws up like a show pony doing dressage.

I had book club last night. For someone as bookish as me it's always surprised me that I have not been in a book club till now. I know; I could have set up my own, but that would be so un-Lou. So we read a book that I really didn't like, but everyone else did, so I found the middle-ground. Curious. In my efforts to feature kindness in every part of my life, I find it increasingly hard to put down the opinion of others. Especially nice ladies who I don't know that well, who have invited me into their book club.

Isn't it funny how women behave in these circumstances? I am fascinated by it.

This weekend it's a series of dropping off and picking up; my daughter's netball. My son has a 'leave out' which is something I had no knowledge of until he attended a school where children can board. It means a weekend off from Saturday school and Saturday matches. So I can predict he will spend the time on the sofa, in comfies, watching trashy TV. And no, I won't be asking him to do that extra maths they set. We had parent's evening this week and that led to a late, late night of marital discussion about the school he is at and the school he could go to next. Manoeuvring and planning is the stronghold of boarding school parents. It's new to me and feels distinctly unnatural but we are trying to play the game. I am learning.

As ever this space is somewhere I hate to neglect, oddly, so I shall be around more next week with whatever life observation strikes me! Have a great weekend.


  1. Your weekend at The Pig with Uni friends sounds delicious! I have friends like that though not from Uni as I didn't go. These are the girls I met aged 21 in my job that I stayed in for 15 years. We've been through all our formative years and important stages together.
    So excited for our meet up in Feb - lots to talk about! Especially the writing - I'm telling you now...whatever you write, I'm reading it!
    Happy weekend my friend! xxx

  2. I know exactly what you are talking about re: friends from the good old days. Just spent nearly a week with one of mine - we picked up right where we had left off! Amazing.

  3. Lou, if you write it - I'm going to read it! Your posts always leave me feeling thoughtful and uplifted at once - I can only imagine what an entire book would do! Your weekend sounds lovely, I feel I've drifted very far from my university friends because they wanted to stay in Tasmania (where I'm from) and get married and have kids (absolutely nothing wrong with that either), whereas I was always itching to get out and to see the world. It's the friends I've met since leaving my island home and moving to 'mainland' Australia and then in my earlier years here in the UK who are the people I feel get me the most. Have a lovely week, Esther xx

  4. I don't remember how I found your blog a month or so ago, but I'm so glad I did. I like the way you put words together. Thanks for sharing.

  5. So glad you had a great time with your girlfriends ~ they are the best times.

  6. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.