I spoke with my friend Dawn; two hours on Whats app that required (due to the crap wifi signal in my house) to stand in one place, virtually on one leg, to maintain contact. We talked; it was lovely and made me miss her all the more; she lives in Holland. She knows me and she gets me.
Ditto my other long distance friend Emma, who I also never see but with whom I have torrid text exchanges about the state of our lives. I realise that characters in my writing are inspired by these two women; it all comes from somewhere deep in my psyche.
Then there is my Mum. I have written before about what an amazing person my Mum is. Everyone who meets her says: 'your Mum is so lovely,' and I say in response: 'I love my Mum.' I really do. I have such love for her and such recognition that she is the single most important woman in my life. Rarely do I make a decision without her input; real or imagined.
Boo has been off sick for a few days with a cold, so we've hung out and chatted and she says things that make my heart swell with pride because she is becoming such a grown up thinker.
Then there is my friend Paula, who was also my business partner once, she's a science geek and wears a lab coat to work and is about the cleverest woman I know. She's coming for tea later.
And my other friend Sarah, who runs a multi-million pound company and is just the most decisive person I have ever met. If ever I procrastinate; I turn to her. We share endless emails most weeks which analyse all sorts of matters, important and banal.
There's the sister in laws - nearby and far away, they are the glue and the shared history that hold family together, at times.
Then I have my blog friends; the ones I read day to day and whose lives I think about, even though we may not have met or only meet rarely. Simone and Robin and Mary and Amanda and Sophie.
Without all of these friends I would not be me. I would be a lone boat sailing on a choppy sea. The harbour would be out of sight. The navigation broken. I would only have the stars to guide me and on a cloudy night that gets really hard. I could extend the metaphor but you know what I mean...
(Spot the girl who is splat-bang in the middle of writing a novel - 34,000 words and counting.)
Friendship is something that, it occurs to me, I take for granted. I sometimes feel that because many of my friends don't live on the doorstep, I don't have them in my life enough. But then I stop and think and realise that they're still with me, maybe just not in person. In spirit. Like kindred spirits - Anne of Green Gable style. Bosom pals. Anyway, I am lucky.
So it's Friday, I have made a smoothie that contains beetroot (it's very January) and I am trying not to look at the Internet for shopping purposes (willpower). The wind persists, I am turning to a book for solace. Happy weekend.