Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Friends

A few weeks ago I flew to South Africa for an old friend's wedding. I wasn't there for long, but I still managed to spend some quality time with the Bride and with a couple of other good girl friends who flew in from all over the world.

...times like that really bring home to me just how alone I am over here. Oh sure, I have "friends" - a couple that I can open up to, and plenty I could go for lunch with. But no one with whom I have that great connection which is so very rare.

*sigh*

It's ok, I remember it took me a number of years in the UK to make "real" friendships (and even some of those have not survived the distance since I left). Finding a good friend is as difficult as finding a keeper bloke. You need chemistry, common interests, similar humour and plenty of tolerance for each other's faults. After spending a day together you should look forward to seeing them again and have plenty left to talk about.

Oddly enough, the closest I have come to finding a friend like that here is with one of Milord's old friends. She's my age with two young children, married to a guy in his mid 50s and living in the back of beyond in a ramshackle wooden house with horses, chickens, ducks and a new calf being hand-reared. Her husband spends 4 nights a week in Sydney leaving her alone with just the kids.

In spite of these differences in lifestyle I sense a real connection with (need an alias... how 'bout "RuralChick"?). I love her child-rearing technique and if my kids turn out like hers I'll be thrilled. She is generous and serene, loves a drink and cooks superb simple meals.

She is also very good friends with Milord's toxic ex - so there are some topics that we just don't talk about!

Last weekend Milord was away, so I contacted RuralChick and invited myself over. I got there about lunchtime on Saturday bearing champagne as is traditional (I can watch, right?) and was introduced to the very cute baby bull during his lunch bottle. She whipped up a couscous salad with cheese and fresh bread and we chatted and flipped through the weekend papers for a bit, while her kids watched a bit of TV as a weekend treat. The plan was to visit some other couples with kids for dinner - but her little girl was suddenly violently ill so we cancelled that plan and rang RuralChick's hubby to bring home dinner ingredients!

I had a lovely quiet evening in with them. I nursed my single weekly glass of wine over 3 hours of conversation before ambling off to bed in their self contained guest cottage in the garden.

After a lazy start on Sunday I rejoined the family for a very late breakfast. RuralChick had a rummage around for maternity clothes for me, but as she's skinny with no bottom not much fitted! I headed home in the early afternoon - I'd had a great weekend, I didn't get irritated with RuralChick and I am looking forward to spending time with her again...

...I wonder if she feels the same way about me?

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