On Saturday we had lunch with our “gang”, a small group of friends who have gelled together over many years. Two members of this group have known each other for their whole lifetime, they are brothers; others have been added along the way. My husband is one of the founder members of the group, having met one of the said brothers in his early teens, they have been best friends ever since. Others, male and female, met through work, or flat sharing, and some of us women in the group, joined as a new girlfriend.

35 years ago I was introduced to this group of friends at a party. They were, it must be said, a little clicky at the time. Before long I had shown my worth, and became a part of this incredible dynamic of people.

Saturday was an amazing easy going get together; a couple of people couldn’t make it, but the core group were all there and it was wonderful to be with them. I pondered on the journey home as to what it is that glues us all together. We are not alike in many ways; some are parents, others are not; some are retired, others are not. Some are or have been boat owners, others are not. Some play golf, we definitely do not! We have holidayed collectively very occasionally, but in smaller groups regularly.

Our glue I think is the mutual love and respect that we have for each other. This has grown over the years, through career changes and house moves, children being born and moving away, illnesses and even a divorce. There is no need to introduce anyone, there are no awkward silences or one upmanship stances. We had six hours of reminiscing as well as anecdotal tales of our separate lives, plenty of laughter and banter and some pretty amazing food.

I came away full of love and admiration for all of these people. They have all had and have their own struggles, their strength in meeting their challenges without fuss, has been an inspiration to me, and always will be.

We have ongoing plans, as we always do, to meet in smaller groups, to further shared interests or connections. We meet again collectively in a few weeks and I can’t wait. This gang of ours is very special – and I treasure it.

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