Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts

Monday, 9 July 2012


Make friends, make friends

...never never break friends

It began six months ago. Five of my oldest friends. Several glasses of wine and a determination to celebrate our last year in our thirties in style - in the sun. A plan was formed. A weekend was set and the flights were booked.

At 4.30am on Thursday, the girls arrived to pick me up for a stupid o'clock flight. As I left the house, I heard from inside the car; 'Bloody hell who brought Paloma Faith' (a comment about my lovely hat) and so the weekend had begun.

We arrived at the airport, checked in and boarded the plane to take us to the sun.  The plane was full of groups of girls, women, hens, stags, boys, very few men, each and everyone looking forward to seeing that rare sighting - rarer than hen's teeth in the UK - the sun.

On the plane, we plugged in iPhones, opened kindles, read pages and barely uttered a word - all around us people were catching up. We ignored each other. It was just perfect. Each of us content in each other's silence as we made the transition from mum to me.

We arrived at our villa, marvelled at the bedrooms, argued over the master suite and gazed longingly at the pool. Within minutes cases were abandoned, phones were laid down and bikinis, tankinis and burkinis (me) were found, bemoaned and adorned.

Then it started. The laughter. We chattered, gossiped and reminisced  over our past, caught up on latest goings-on, shared our angst, our worries and our nonsense - which even included whether the blades of grass were thicker in Spain than the UK. 

And then we laughed some more and ridiculed each other - I even snorted beer down my nose. It was one of my more classy moments in Marbs.

These girls have been part of my life for over two decades - we've been through break-ups, make-ups (and that's just us girls) boyfriends, husbands, marriages, divorces, children, illness, grief, loss and laughter. At the heart of it are six girls that met through school, clubbing and parties - and in Marbs we were those girls again, friends to the end.

The thing about friendship - true friendship - is that it just exists. 

In silence on a plane. In shared cocktails at a beach bar. During a three hour Mad Dogs styli walk in the burning heat of the midday sun to find a supermarket. Even when one of your oldest friends storms in a takes a picture of you in the shower (of course I hadn't locked the door, why would I?) A picture I might add that will never see the light of day - mainly due to the fact that I got my revenge shot the following day. Nothing is sacred.

The weekend ended with a delay at the airport. Seven hours and several bottles of champagne later we finally made a flight out of Marbs. 

And once again I was reminded about the power of friendship. I realised how lucky I am as my friends at home rallied round and sorted my small things. In an instant. In a blink of a eye - and then told me to go and drink more champagne - which of course I did.

I know two things.

This time next year we will be back in Marbella drinking in the sunshine.

My friends are blinkin important to me and I salute you.

Well actually three things:

Cocktails on the beach in the sun are just the best thing ever. 
(except for good friends of course).

*This blog is dedicated to my beautiful friends.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Say my name...say my name.

Say my name...say my name.

No don't worry I haven't gone all Destiny's Child, but I have realised that not many people use my name. 

My actual name. 

The name I was christened with. 

It may shock many of you but that name is Sarah..not Knighty and not mum or mummy.

I was talking to a friend the other day and in the middle of the conversation, she said my name. Immediately the conversation had more meaning. Immediately I listened a little more closely. Immediately I realised that I very rarely hear my own name. 

Of course I am talking about my actual name and not the given name for the past 10 years. I hear 'mummy can you, MMUUUUUUMMMMMYYYYY, mum will you, MMMMUUUUUMMMMMM, is your mum there' all the time. 
In fact when I go to bed it's ringing in my ears. And then at 4am I hear it again and all to often I realise it's not a dream, it's real and it's coming from the 6 year old's bedroom. It also usually means that action is required.

I never liked my name at school. I hated the fact it couldn't be shortened as it meant (and still means) that I was forever nicknamed Knighty. It's one of the reasons I gave my small things names that could be shortened.

All through school, through university, through my career and even now if someone wants my attention, it's often Knighty I hear. Nothing wrong with that of course (well unless you're in a lovely posh shop and your 'friend' shouts Knighty from the changing rooms to get your attention; then I really pretend not to hear).

But now I like hearing Sarah; it often means:
1) I'm in grown up company
2) Someone grown up is talking to me 
3) It's time to behave like a grown-up (this doesn't always follow 1 and 2)

I think there's a lot of power in someone's name - used properly. 

I'm not suggesting you go around saying someone's name over and over again as frankly that would be slightly weird, but next time you're chatting with your colleagues, friends, peers use their name. Drop it into conversation and witness the magical effect of someone listening to you a little more closely.

Unless of course they are saying 'Sarah, get another drink in,' then all bets are off.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Everyone's talking about communities.

Everyone's talking about communities.

Mainly online communities where you can connect to people thousands of miles away, where you can make friends with strangers, where after years of talking to someone online (twitter) they become your mates and you go wandering in the Ribble Valley with them.

In the good old days, your community was the street in which you lived.
Today no-one knows their next door neighbour.


There's Frank who's not only the small things' surrogate granddad, but he's also the saviour of the street. From electrical faults, to blocked drains to emergency bottles of wine and at Christmas his home-made mince pies, Frank is your man.

My neighbours on my left hand side take my bins out every week and on the right hand side Isa has taken to watering my plants for me. I think this is actually due to the fact that she can't stand looking at their wilting pitiful appearance any longer.

Up the road is Jane who owns the local deli which means the nearly ten year old can go to the deli on her own and I know she's safe (whilst feeling independent) and Jane 2 who is my long time friend and godparent to the 6 year old. Oh and then there's the dishy doc (and his wife) - just in case of medical emergencies.

When someone's alarm goes off, people actually step outside their houses to check and when new people move into the street bottles of wine are delivered (often with people attached to them to have a nosey at the house).

The minute the sun shines, cars are being washed and it has been known that this is followed by a few beers and a street celebration.

This is a real, every day community. It's a bit rough round the edges but it works and it's one of the many reasons I love living here.

In Salford.