‘Your blog,’ admonishes my dear friend, Julia, gently, ‘is appearing far less frequently. I settle down for a bit of ‘Chris Time’ and you’re not there!’. It feels a bit limp to say I’ve been busy when everyone’s busy now. A glance round the table at The Thursday Girls - my lovely friends of twenty-eight years - gives a snapshot of what we’ve been juggling between us; family illness, ageing parents, grown-up children, separations, reconciliations, bereavements, a house move, a house renovation, job applications, careers, new relationships, new babies, weddings and every emotion from the depths of despair to utter joy.
Today though, the five of us are making the most of this rare opportunity to get together. After a lunch filled with laughter, Ann suggests a walk in the bright sunshine. The bright perishing-cold sunshine, as it turns out, in a truly bitter wind along a path which is suddenly crowded with hulking great schoolboys on a cross country run! Defeated by the savage temperature and the pounding of enormous feet, we retreat inside for a quick cup of tea before returning to our normal duties. I say goodbye with an armful of presents, a head full of memories and a heart grateful for the presence of these women in my life.
I’ve been in London attending a Romantic Novelists’ Association committee meeting followed by the Winter Party. To be honest, I used to feel daunted by RNA parties, but these days I realise that my fears of being a wallflower are groundless as someone is always happy to chat. On this occasion I was delighted to meet on-line friends for the first time, like new Choc Lit author Kathryn Freeman. It was lovely too, to catch up with friends who were so supportive on my journey to publication, writers Debbie White and – for the first time after seven years of on-line friendship - Norma Murray.
Another postscript from Hong Kong follows my trip to the fortune teller who having cast several sideways glances at Tom and checking three times to make sure he was really my husband, foretold that he would be a professor… well, perhaps that is written in the stars but this week Tom did get his exams results ... and, I’m very proud to say, gained his MA with Distinction!
|Our boat, Veryan, at Ramsgate|