Tuesday, 26 April 2011

On Friendship

Anyone who has been reading my intermittent ramblings for a while will know that one of my favourite subjects is that of work-life balance and the juggling of different roles. After a few years of  practising the holy trinity of wife-mother-employee, I like to think I have at least come to terms with the fact that I am giving each of these roles the best I can without damaging them too much. I am more than happy to have sacrificed role of cleaner and perfect housekeeper along the way!

However, one thing I have recently started to wonder is whether the role of "Friend" has also inadvertently slipped by the wayside without me noticing. I have always been one of these people that does not make friends easily - I have few friends, but most of them are old and very good friends that I have known a long time. They are the kind of friends that, regardless of how seldom we see each other, always make it feel like it was only yesterday. The sort of friends that you can just be comfortable with.

Yet lately I have had a niggling doubt that I'm really doing all I should. In the last couple of months, I have:
- forgotten to send two 40th birthday cards,
- forgotten the birthday of my best friend's 1 year old. The "best friend" I have not seen since before Christmas because a) we both lead busy lives and it is not always possible, but b) mainly because I absentmindedly double-booked the last weekend we were supposed to be getting together...
- had a friend have to text me to arrange a night out despite it technically being "my turn" to arrange (and despite me having thought about it for weeks and still not having done anything about it!)
- still not called or emailed the friend in Germany I have been meaning to contact since Christmas

Finally, add to that my apparent inability to find any kind of words whatsoever when I meet someone going through any kind of hard time; grief or separation, and I do wonder what sort of person I appear to be on the outside...

So, to any friends secretly reading this (yes, Mr Tin, I know you keep passing on the url...grrr...), I'm sorry.


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Random Thoughts Of the Week - The Theme Park Edition

Eldest daughter celebrated her 6th birthday recently (cue much wailing and many cries of "My baaaayyyyybeeeee - where has the time gone"!!?), and instead of a party, we decided to treat her to a couple of days at a theme park - which one is not relevant, but suffice to say a 6ft pig featured at one point. Anyway, as we made our way up and down the various rides, the following observations sprang to mind:

- I know it's difficult to know what to wear in the British climate at the best of times (wet weather gear? winter coats? sunglasses), but you only have to go to a theme park to see the widest variety of different get-ups. From the eminently sensible to what I can only put in the "what were you thinking" box of clothing. I am sure head-to-toe white linen seemed like a great idea for a hot sunny day. It looked stylish and cool...if you were not planning to go on any rides. However, the person in question had obviously not thought through the fact that a log flume and white linen can have some rather revealing consequences...

- I don't really have any strong views either way on tattoos - I think the right one can look quite pretty, and have toyed with having one in the past (the pain! the pain!), but on a sunny day I do really marvel at the number and variety on show. Am I the only person in the country that does not have one?

- From the first two points, it is obvious that the day in question was a freak hot and sunny day. Again, going back to point one - appreciate British climate not best to judge, but seriously - if you it is hot enough to wear a strappy top, surely sun protection is pretty vital? One word: Lobster. Ouch.

- Finally, a top tip for you - from experience! Didn't manage to finish the coffee you bought on the services on the way over? Hot day? Simply leave it in your car, and it will be at exactly the perfect temperature for drinking when you get back after a long day! Just watch you don't burn your lips. Again: ouch.


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