Yes, I know I just did a post the other day but it's nearly Christmas, I am as stressed as hell, God knows why, because my daughter does most of it but I am trying to work as well as send cards, be sociable, go to various lunches and such and all those stupid things I forgot about like the car insurance and the, oh, I don't the hell know but anyway I am really rather pleased about one thing in my life.
When I was a small child I had very few friends. I went to school with the children of men who worked at my father's steelworks. I don't think I should blame my lack of friends on that, maybe I was just hopeless at making friends but it followed me through school and into adulthood and was even worse after my husband died. Talk about being dropped like a hot brick. If I had been Marilyn Monroe I could have understood it but I was fairly ordinary. I think in some countries the name widow is the same word as prostitute so maybe that has something to do with it but my husband left me money and a good house so I've never been called upon to do anything I didn't really want to do but there you are.
Anyway, things got better. It only took about twenty years of criminal loneliness, having nobody to hang out with and work. I had friends, other writers but I didn't have friends personally if you see the difference and then I moved to Durham and made friends and now I have three wonderful friends.
All we have in common is that we are widows. But one worked at the university, one was a nurse and the other was in education, mostly teaching adults. We make each other laugh. We must have the same kind of humour. I have no idea what it is but we are a pack, a team. It reminds very much of a comic I used to get every week when I was little. I think it was Bunty and there was a story in there about these four girls who were all called Mary. I have a feeling that they were at boarding school. That didn't seem unlikely to me, there were lots of boarding school stories about at the time, I have no idea why but that's what was are. We are the four Marys. Post war children with extremely different backgrounds but somehow there we are in decent pubs if I plan it, or awful cafes if the others do. They don't drink wine!! Something else we don't have in common. I think the point is that we all understand loss, we all understand loneliness. We all have children, we have all been seriously ill and there we are, laughing our heads off, hanging out like teenagers and giggling. I am gaining a great deal of happiness from my friends. Long may we last, agreeing and disagreeing and holding loneliness at bay. I think the thing that my three friends have in common is that they are gutsy women. They have intelligence, nerve and having been smart and gone to good schools they have made good lives for their children. And for themselves. The world is a better place for you, Joan, Jo and Pat. Thanks.