There are two people that I have taken from my childhood into adult life, as friends rather than family. I had a messenger short exchange with one of them, Lynn on Tuesday 4th August from my hospital bed, where I said I was sorry to hear that she was feeling unwell after she had responded on hearing of my accident. Unfortunately, that was the last exchange between us as she died on Saturday suddenly and shockingly for everyone that knew her.

We met on the first day of Junior school aged seven and bonded immediately. She was bubbly and adventurous, scatty and sincere and one of the most genuine and loyal people I have ever been privileged to know. We stayed the best of friends through the rest of our childhood and beyond.

We were not model children it must be said, her capacity for getting into hot water matched mine and we were regularly on the wrong side of someone’s idea of right – whether at school or at home, but we loved each other and ploughed on regardless. I could write pages on the things that we did get up to, but they still may be toe curling to some, and they are my memories which are precious and will stay with only me now, for all time.

Since school, our lives have been lived quite separately and taken different directions. We had times where we had very little communication, but we crashed together again every few years, or sometimes every few months, never with reproach always falling straight back into the easy comfort of a friendship based on decades of  shared secrets and aspirations, regrets and fears,  counsellor and mentor to each other.

In December 2013 her daughter and I colluded to get her onto Facebook and I was set up as one of the first friend requests that she saw on Christmas day that year. We have since shared so many experiences, family weddings and births, house purchases and milestone events. We have chit chatted, not constantly, but from time to time, we have even occasionally managed to meet up.

We have been more aware of each other, not an occasional burst of energy more a constant background thrum of security, knowing we were there if needed. Thus the exchange on Tuesday I in hospital with a broken bone, she feeling unwell – Me “Hi lovely how are you, sorry to hear you are not well xx “ her reply “And me too, take care and get well soon xx”

My reply now is my last message to her – So you take care my lovely lady, and don’t get up to too much mischief without me, holding you in my heart forever

Linda xxxx


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.