I get by with a little help from my friends. 

Sometimes when I’m sat alone on a Saturday night I do question whether I have very many friends. Sad and depressing I know, but being a one parent family can sometimes be a quiet and lonely life. The evenings especially so, as you know that that’s when everyone else is having their family time, or couples time, or some lucky buggers are even free to go out in the evening without having to book a babysitter weeks in advance and you’re stuck at home with a sleeping child upstairs.

However, my perspective changed dramatically this weekend, after Charlotte was admitted to hospital and we had to stay in overnight. I now realise more than ever before that I do have many, many friends.

Poorly girl.
With these friends we may not be able to meet up very often, we may have known each other for ever, we may not have actually known each other that long, we may have met because of babies or toddlers, or work or where we live, we may have met through the powers of Facebook, we may not exactly even remember when or how we came to know each other but, that night I had so many offers of genuine help that I could feel this amazing support system around me and, oh my goodness, did I need it right then.

Those who didn’t live close were messaging straight away, checking on me and Charlotte and giving me strength to cope with the situation. Those who were close were offering practical help like phone chargers (life lesson no 1: never go to out of hours with 9% battery), dog walking, popping to the shops for food and drink or a toothbrush or just desperately needed moral support. 

They all had their own stuff going on that evening and they were willing to stop that stuff, even briefly, and help me and that made me feel very honoured.

Luckily we came out of hospital the next day and, despite more tests that still need to be done, lots of things returned quickly to normal. But those 12 hours of hell really made me appreciate those around me and realise that I am really lucky and that I do have my so called ‘village’. 

So, in this season of gratitude, good will and thanksgiving (a bit late I know), I want to thank all my friends, from the bottom of my heart. Because without them I wouldn’t have made it through half the challenges I’ve faced and I’m sure they’ll help me through the next lot too. 

BFF

Today is my best friends birthday. I know that term sounds a bit juvenile but it is the only way I could ever possibly describe her. We worked out not long ago that we have known each other for 17 years. Frizzy hair, glasses, Spice Girl platform trainers, shiny Warehouse tops, braces, track suit bottoms with poppers down the side…we were a gorgeous pair (and luckily have no photos of this era!) Thankfully we have developed and blossomed during those 17 years!

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We have been through exams, holidays, evil parents, crushes (of which we collectively had many, but never the same person), first loves, first *ahem* other things, my first day at uni after my boyfriend had split up with me the day before and first escapades abroad.
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She was the first person I called when I got engaged. She was my one and only bridesmaid at my wedding because that was all I needed. She drove to and from her home, one and half hours away, the day I had given birth to Charlotte so she could see her before she went away for a few weeks. She was also the first person I called when I finally made the decision I couldn’t be with my ex any longer and she dropped everything so she could be with me. She didn’t even get embarrassed when I poured out my heart and cried in a pub that weekend.

We can talk about pretty much everything, although I’m rubbish at telling anyone what I’m feeling (ironic as I write a blog and happily spill the beans to all you guys!). And despite the many dubious decisions I have made over our time as best friends – mostly boy or fashion related – she has never said “I told you so” (even though she did), she has just offered a sympathetic ear, an escape route, a brilliant perspective on the situation or if all else fails…wine and cheese.

She is getting married this year and I absolutely, positively can’t wait to be at her side (or slightly behind her) as I get to be her bridesmaid and, if and when, babies come along I hope they love me as much as I know Charlotte loves her.

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Happy birthday Rachel. Thank you for everything and here’s to a lifetime of dubious decisions, sleepovers and loads and loads of wine and cheese. Xxx