I turned 60 last Friday and it was a time to reflect on friendships. I feel so lucky to have friends that I have now known for 50 years. My favourite card is from my BFF. We go back before bras and periods and sex and video tapes and lies. She is one of those people I could phone at 1 am in the morning and ask her to come and she would. (From Christchurch!).
This is a poem I wrote about her a long while ago.
To My Friend Rose
You are reading a trashmag and your eyes are in shadow.
An observer would not see your green, green eyes.
You are flicking through the pages, scanning quickly
As you drink your tea from your china rose blue, blue mug.
“Oh for god’s sake, she’s not pregnant”, you exclaim.
An observer might note your leading lady beauty mole
And your blue mug, your slimline skirt, your high heels,
Your shirt pulled taut across your sporty shape,
But not see
The loyalty, friendship, generosity
Love dammit, in those green eyes
But I do (lucky me)
I spent lunch on the big day with my Auckland wing woman-generous, funny and kind, Deb (and a lot more besides). I came home the other day to find my lawn clipper fairy had dropped by and tidied up my lawn.
We went to The Tasting Shed which I can highly recommend. Enjoyed everything, including the kangaroo and the churros were divine.
I have spent my birthday month eating. I went with a friend to Sidart last week as well. Their degustation during the week is pretty special and you can choose from between 5-9 courses. As the plates are small you can kid yourself you have hardly eaten a thing. I think I practically lost weight there.
Provenance (was Bees on Line), part of the hip group is pretty fab too and I consider it my local flash lunch venue. Thanks to another friend…
It isn’t about the food but the sharing of the food, well okay it is quite a bit about the food. I’m excited to be going to the Sugar Club next Friday too.
The other lovely thing about birthdays is the flowers. They make you feel loved.
And the jar of quince jelly that appears in the letterbox, now on the bench with the sun shining through its pinkish light.
And the beautiful linen tea towel because a sister knows I’m crazy about linen.
and cards actually in the mail, real cards with messages of friendship.
I hope you don’t think I’m a dick for putting these up, but I am grateful for all kinds of friendship and for the effort friends have gone to, to remember the decade I’ve reached. Every time I wear my new earrings, or use my linen tea towel I will think of that person and corny as it sounds, it really isn’t about the gift but the giving.
As you know I adore Leunig and even though I am irreligious and he is not, I still love the sentiments. I sent this to a friend of mine a while back and she sent it back to me because it’s always worth repeating.
We give thanks for our friends.
Our dear friends.
We anger each other.
We fail each other.
We share this sad earth, this tender life,
This precious time.
Such richness. Such wildness.
Together we are blown bout.
Together we are dragged along.
All this delight.
All this suffering.
All this forgiving life.
We hold it together.
It is in his book When I Talk To You and published by Harper Collins.
Thanks everyone. FG xx