Once, when I was about 12 or 13 I bemoaned the fact I had no friends. Around me, my contemporaries seemed to have scores of them. I felt understandably left out. My mother sat me down and told me she could count her most valued friends on one hand. I disbelieved her. I was at that age when you begin doubting the wisdom of your parents.
As you know from Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, I’m thrilled to have 5 gems on my bracelet. But with Thanksgiving round the corner, I'm once again celebrating fabulously forged friendships because a good friend is the most priceless gift of all.
As well as the Koh-i-noor diamonds making up my sparkilicious friendship bracelet, there are other friends who also give me succour in more ways than they might realise.
The first group owed acknowledgement this Friendsgiving are the members of my Writing Group in Telegraph Hill. Without this lot I’d spend a great deal of time writing far too many words and do a lot less editing. Yet despite the fact I sometimes come away from our sessions feeling as though I’m hobbling along on bloody stumps (thanks for that one Rupert), every single session is worth the agony. It’s worth it because they make me want to do better. As far as I’m concerned that’s how it should be. I don’t need to belong to a writing group full of friends who tell me what I want to hear. I want them to tell me the hard truths and this group certainly does that.
Next up are the ace people at my local Argentine Tango clubs. First off there’s Tango South London. Not only did Claire Loewe teach me how to eat, breath, walk and talk tango but also aided and abetted my now insatiable shoeaholic habit. Claire, I’m sending you the bill for my therapy sessions. Next in line is Tango 178, where friendships forged during tandas have spread from the dance floor to other areas of life. Tango, without you, this seriously introverted being would be a hermit.
The third group of people are also dancers. They are part of the Lindy Hop scene and have taught me a dance which makes my heart sing and my brain buzz. Two people in particular have taken the time to teach me, not only the joy of this dance, but also the subtle technicalities thereof. Loretta and Onel – I’m hooked. You have given me the confidence to seek out Lindy Hop wherever I go.
Last, but by no means least, is the literacy club Ruskin Readers. When I first joined this group I was a dejected unemployed being. Through my volunteer work with them and the amazing support of Caroline Knapp I’ve grown in confidence and become a fully-fledged member of the tutors’ team. Despite the fact Lambeth Council have ousted our club from our beloved Carnegie Library, we’re standing strong and taking the club towards its half century anniversary.
To all you lovely people who make up my circle of friends – Thank you, thank you, thank you & a very happy Friendsgiving to you all!