Mary arrived first, armed with baguettes, cheeses, meats and the most stunning roses (are they green? are they yellow? they are stunning – have I ever told you how I adore having fresh cut flowers in the house but never do?). It was like greeting an old friend. We both had absolute shockers in 2008 and it was like, on seeing each other, that we knew we’d reached some sort of rest stop and were going to guzzle each other in to ensure we could keep going. ONWARD!
(A side note which will not mean much to anyone else, but she is tall and loud and fun and emotional and basically my best friend K in another body – I had visions all afternoon of K being there with us over many pots of tea and endless food supplies as the conversation jumped from one story to another then back again. Sigh.)
The loveliest Eleanor arrived next with Duyvken arriving fast on her tail. Eleanor with her divine Israeli salad, artisan breads and the cutest little cupcakes Miss Commentbox had made for us and D with the most divine stuffed capsicums I am still feasting on.
There was a flurry of activity as food was arranged, drinks sorted and just that energy of excitement. Even the boys were into it and treated the girls as if they’d met them all before, charming the socks of each of them and making all my whinging about them seem very unfair indeed.
I can’t remember what we talked about – it was a trifle of anecdotes, updates on children and partners, how we all found each other (Blackbird and Suse seem to be major factors) and a lot of food.
Some couldn’t join us due to deadlines, illness or prior engagements. Their absence the perfect excuse (as if we needed one) to get together sooner rather than later.
Then we went over to the beach where Eleanor reacted as if she’d never seen the open ocean or a beach in her life when in fact she spent much of last week mooching around on one. Duyvken set off to get her feet wet as is her rule if she’s at the ocean and Mary took pictures galore.
It was glorious and over way too soon.
So this morning I’ve been thinking about these friendships born from online correspondence. How important they have become to me. How I worry if someone’s having a rough trot or am joyous for someone’s good news or exerience.
And how truly grateful I am.