Friends are food for the soul

Where would we be without our friends? In each stage of our lives, they are so important. I love how I have a few friends who have known me in pretty much most stages of my life; you grow together and share magic moments.

These are the women who've seen you at your best, and your worst! You have helped each other through so much and had fun on the way.
I have one particular close friend I've known since I was five and we've shared so much together, through thick and thin.

That reminded me of marriage vows. Well, there are friend vows but they're just unspoken! Soul mates aren't just partners, they can be friends too.

Now I'm so lucky to call her sister in law. We are now aunties to our kids. It's just fab! We have an unspoken rule- I have her back and she has mine. It's that simple. I can say this about my other sister in law too.

It's lovely having old friends but it's also great making new too. You kind of make friends as you go along in your life and you're never too old to keep making them! You have your Primary school friends and friends from the same street and neighbourhood, then your Secondary school friends. I think the first friendships you make are so important. These are some of the first relationships you make and you share so much laughter and learning about the world together.

You spend a lot of time together, especially if you are school and play together in the local neighbourhood.

I lost touch with many friends from Primary school as I went as a small group to a different Secondary. I still meet up with a group of lovely Secondary school/college friends. The ones who helped me through my first break up and who I tried my first pint with. These friends know me inside out, yet still want to be with me! They know my insecurites, my passions, my faults and my strengths. But it works both ways. We look back at photos now and laugh our heads off at our clothes and hair cuts (proper dodgy perms). We always need our friends but in this teenage stage, your peer group is so important. Every one is there for each other, no matter what. We love reminiscing about school, especially as our school has been knocked down and made into a car park!

I made some lovely, new friends at college, but unfortunately lost touch of some. Facebook is great for reconnecting with people. We reminisce about our college days and our student nights, lamenting the end of the pound a pint days. We laugh when we say we've never read Chaucer since and didn't really 'get it' at the time. I don't think I'd get it now!

Like that advert, being in touch with old friends is, priceless. This quote made me think as I love all my antique vases, tea and coffee sets all around my home. I never looked at it in this way. Just as you look after and cherish the antique Carlton ware coffee set, or whatever is your fave, you need to cherish your old friends!

Old friends definitely don't make you feel old; they make you feel younger, reminding you of a time when you had more of a zest for life. They remind you of the fab 80s and 90s, where you choreographed dances to Madonna and Whitney Houston and watched Anne of Green Gables and chick flicks like Thelma and Louise, promising that you'd be each other's Wing woman, whilst desperately hoping Brad Pitt would walk into your life or motel room! When I think of the all girls holidays in Magaluf and Tenerife, memories come flooding back of the clothes we wore, the laughs and the 90s music. So many brilliant tubes by Snap, Black Box, Robin S and S Express to name a few. Rhythm really was a dancer and as a group of girls, we really had the power! I remember having two songs, that no matter where I was, I'd grab my friends and we'd dance to these songs: Walking on Sunshine and Jump Around! If we were at the bar, we downed our drinks and got dancing! Nowadays, on rare nights out, the first thing we do is find a cosy settee to sit on. Think I'd just listen to Jump Around now, tapping my foot as a nod to the fab song!

Spice Girls crashed into the 90s music scene on their Spice Girls bus and pushed for girl power. I liked how they were all different with different personalities and personas. This is mirrored in groups of friends; it would be boring if we were all the same! I loved Baby Spice the best and still do. Although Sporty Spice has definitely got the best voice!

You can have confidence and go for it and being surrounded by friends who have your back, are rooting for you, drop everything to hear your latest love woe, who build you up, does make a massive difference. Friends are food for the soul and you do feel better by spending time with them.

Looking back on nights out with friends, many of the spontaneous nights were the best. Days out that extended into the evenings or just nights where you were revising one minute, then a friend would phone you up and twenty minutes later, you'd be standing with your party shoes on, outside Dolly's waiting for them to get off the bus.

Again, looking back on moments with friends, the  stand out! I remember doing a long shift at McDonald's, stinking of fries and cleaning fluid but not caring because I couldn't wait to get on that dance floor! A few of us would quickly get changed and meet up with friends on Wellington Street, or go straight to Club Hedonism and dance for another three hours, after being standing up for eight hours. How did we do it? The secret lies in all those Taboo and lemonades I supped! Then we'd be up the next morning on an early and serving muffins at 7 after about three hours sleep!

Having friends you can be yourself with is what it is all about. Whether old or new friends, I know I can be myself, as do they. And how refreshing is that?

They know my hang ups and my last minute rushing aboutness but I suppose they know that's me. Bit late to change now!

It's lovely not having to explain stuff to people who know what's going on in your head. Those special people you can hug and they get your, "I'm ok" response actually means, I feel like crap. Please let me moan to you again for a hour. I've brought cake. A big cake!

It's great that we have these people we can go to, to let out our feelings and our worries. Things do seem better once they are not just floating around your head. A chat over a coffee with a good friend/s, or depending on the problem, a chat over a bottle of wine and a big, sharing bag of Doritos, with dips, is very therapeutic!

Friends are therapists and are in tune with when you aren't you; your normal self. They just get it.

I know some very brave people and have some very inspirational friends. It humbles me when I speak to them; no matter what they ate going through, they put on a smile and they're asking how you are! I'm like, never mind me. How are you? These people who never, ever moan and just get on with it, are able to laugh and carry on in such a dignified manner. Theses people inspire me daily. You might suddenly catch a glimmer of their inner, hidden turmoil, but not for long. All you can do is squeeze their hand or just listen. Sometimes there are no words, just listening ears.

I've also been very lucky with my work colleagues that turned into friends and a few, close friends. Any job is stressful and what we need is to know we have each other's backs. I was very lucky, especially in my newest years of teaching, when I needed it the most, to have this. You don't forget the kindness and support shown to you. Again, it does work both ways and folk knew my door was always open to help. Except if the problem was technology related, then they'd walk straight past my door! It's hard when you are trying to hold your career together and be a mum and a wife. It's a proper juggling act. Especially as I worked in Education where the goalposts were continually changing and the work/life balance was definitely off balance but not in a good way. I will always appreciate those friends who would look in on me, as I them, to see if I needed any help, or just a cuppa. A smile at the end of a long day and those words are just magic!

I'm writing this blog with a smile on my face and feeling very blessed for the friends I've had, and still have. They are all different but we all have things in common; we have similar outlooks and approaches to life. I love being with friends and just stopping, and thinking, Wow! You're my friends! I'm so lucky!

We ought to play a party game of five words to describe each friend. Now that would be interesting. And perhaps a little daring! Your friends are like a warm, snuggly, bright patchwork quilt, each with a different square of personality but sewn together to protect each other.

I do think friendship isn't just about the grand gestures; it's about the little things too. All these little things that we don't see or just know will happen, they all add up .

I love how there are so many types of friends and how can we be so many types ourselves, depending on the mood or situation. I have laid back, easy going friends who calm me when I'm stressing; friends I have deep conversations with; friends who spontaneously ring or text that they're taking you out on another adventure; friends you don't see in a long time but nothing has changed; friends who say it how it is, when needed and friends who are in tune with your mood without you saying a word. All precious friends. I can fluctuate between listening and being deep to, let's go on an adventure!

It's great when you can pick up from Where you left off, when you see a friend you have not seen in a long time. Texts are great for in between but you can't beat seeing folk face to face, in this day and age of social media. A lovely friend rang me last night. A good old fashioned telephone call, a lovely surprise. We laughed so much and I was so pleased she'd rung for a catch up!

It is so important to have new friends too. We make friends throughout the different stages of our lives. I have made so many lovely friends through work, through being a school mum and through my hobbies. It's lovely when you meet someone who has similar interests and is 'on the same page as you'. You strike up conversations when you begin to see each other every week and before you know it, you are firm friends.

The unexpected friends you find in life are amazing. I do believe in fate and some of these chance meetings have resulted in us being good friends. The people you meet who own shops and cafes and strike conversations with, the people you start speaking to in dressing rooms when you are waiting for your children. Even the new friend who just happened to walk into the same coffee shop, HAVE it, feeling in a similar mood to you. You get talking, meet there the next week and before you know it, you are friends. You obviously needed to meet each other, to help each other.
I love this quote on the loveheart hanging in the coffee shop. It speaks a thousand words.

I have been quite poorly and I am so lucky to have people who check in on me. These people need to be cherished and appreciated. I have a few who were friends but through supporting me, they are now much closer friends.

I think it's great that with friends there are no boundaries. It doesn't matter the age, social or cultural, yoi just click and get on. All thaf stuff is just extra. I'm reminded of the jouramalisy again, Katie Hopkins, who can speak so much sense, then so much (in my grandm's words) tripe! I was incredulous when she said she vetoed her children to play with others called Chardonnay and Tyler, for example because I've taughht amazing kids with those names. I'm just glad I was never given any bans like that. I'm also glad my adult friends never vetoed me for beimg late or forgetting ti text or I wouldn't hsve any friends! Same with the school mums. It's a good job they've looked past the fact we only have one bathroom and I've fed their children chicken nuggets for dinner(cancelled out by the huge amount of time playing games at tea parties and sleep overs! Genuine people like you for you. When I'm drawn to someone new, their career or size of house makes no difference to me. What's more important is their vibe and their energy.

The idea is to stick with those who get you. Not everyone will. It has taken me a very long time to learn that. As a recovering people pleaser, I get that, just as you might click with some,you can easily unclick with others. Why spend ages trying to get those people to like you? It's like my favourite spread, Marmite. I love it but others don't. Try not to take that, and other opinions personally. I'm not a piece of plasticine and I've stopped bending and moulding myself to fit for folk who don't get me.

Friends are family too. Some of your bestest friends are family. My bestest ever friend has ti be my mum; she definitely knows me and she most definitely always has my back. Sisters and sister in laws, grandmas, aunties, brothers. The list goes on of people you can trust. It's unconditional love. I am lucky too with my cousins who I've grown up with and I love this quote.

I can't write this blog without adding  my little doggy. A friend for life there. They do say a dog is a man's best friend and I totally get that now. Or cat, or whatever animal your pet is
I love the love without question and how pleased they are to see you. Again, my dog has really helped me in my recovery this year. I defy anyone to not feel a bit better after a day with them!

I couldn't resist putting this picture on of Ed Sheeran's song. Love it!

This next quote is spot on.
Life is short.
Spend it with who appreciates you, who sees the best in you. Spend it with people who support you and lift you up.


  1. Brilliant blog. Yes everyone needs friends. It would be a very lonely life without them!

  2. It really would! Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. We were strangers we are now friends .


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