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BLOG: Special friends for a special birthday
OK...so the cat's out of the bag...I have now turned 60!
Our great NHS were on the ball...notice of the despatch of my bowel cancer testing kit arrived amongst my cards.
And I understand prescriptions are free for me from now on...what a great institution OUR NHS is...something to value, cherish & protect...an international first & globally admired.
60 seems old ("it is" I can hear the "kids" retort instaneously & in unison) & it was felt that I should celebrate or at least mark it in someway.
So the plan unfolded that there could be a party.
But I didn't want a fuss & really don't need any gifts off people.
So a compromise began to evolve...a party? Yes. Presents? No.
And so the other night we had a humdinger...we provided a fantastic (my life time heroes) Simon & Garfunkel "tribute" band, the Sounds of Simon, spud or cheese pie & for those with greater stamina reserves, a disco.
I said a few words of welcome...about an "effin" evening of fun, fund raising & proposed a toast for the evening to "friendship"!
The Band started with the S&G classic..."Old Friends", of course!
We raised just shy of £1500 for the local Hospice & Save the Children.
The point of all this is how much people enjoyed themselves...people seemed to renewing old friendships & forging new ones...people who hadn't seen one another for ages or who didn't expect to meet one another, old friends who didn't know so & so was such & such's wife etc...
Friends who'd been poorly. Friends who'd faced other personal difficulties. Friends who'd had problems at work or lost their jobs. Friends whose families had unexpected challenges thrust their way. Friends who'd just become parents or grandparents for the first time. Friends who'd just got married or who were expecting. Friends who used to work or live or play sport together. Friends who had just retired. Friends who had just been on holiday. Friends who pray together.
All of them just Friends. The nattering, dancing, laughing went on till pretty late, I probably mean early!
My two longest friendships were there, Rod & Neil. We started Comprehensive School together in Birmingham in 1963...that's 49 years ago, we realised.
So the evening was really good...my friends had been & were important to me, I thanked them.
Our friends are our friends for many different reasons...being brought up together, going to the same school, playing in the same team, sharing the same values, experiences, life styles.
One may have helped another in a time of great need. Sometimes just being at the end of the phone or always available for some tea or sympathy. Someone to bounce ideas off or worries around with.
We trust them, respect them, love them...but not always?
What do you look for in a friend? Are you a good friend? Have you ever let one down or been let down yourself?
I've thought about friends & friendship a great deal these last few days & weeks...really, on the night, I'd had gifts in abundance!
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