Hey, old friend!

7US-M2-1141-6 At a New York party, akg-images / George Mann
7US-M2-1141-6 At a New York party, akg-images / George Mann

“Hello, stranger!”

Well, if this blog could speak that’s probably what it would have said this morning when I logged on to write a new entry. I apologise profusely to the blog for neglecting it. Since my last blog post in December, my time has been spent trying desperately to see as many friends as possible. The cinema and the gym are abandoned in favour of pre-Christmas dinner and drinks catching up with friends, many — ok, most — of whom I last saw in December the previous year.

Then, after that brief flurry of amicable activity and the Christmas and New Year break, January comes along. Short days and empty wallets usually mean staying at home in the evenings (or trying to get back into some sort of fitness routine) and I end up losing contact again with those friends to whom I had, only weeks before, sworn that “we must get together more often”.

I have now reached that age where most of my friends have started families and, as the number of children has grown, these friends have moved further and further out of the city to houses with gardens and good schools somewhere out on the commuter belt, so consequently it becomes even more difficult to meet up. As I have no intention either to move out of urban London or to buy a car (London’s streets are dangerous enough without me getting behind the wheel), friendships often reduce down to liking each other’s Facebook posts and the occasional birthday card in the post.

But it is precisely in January and February, when the nights are long and cold, that meeting up with friends is so essential for beating those winter blues. I was especially reminded of this whilst browsing some of the black and white images from the archive tagged with the keyword ‘friendship’. It’s not enough to follow your friends’ lives on Twitter, you have to be present in it. Plus, I have no children of my own, so I will have to stay in the memories (and the good books) of my friends’ kids, to make sure there’s someone to visit me when I am old and in a nursing home!