A friend may be waiting behind a stranger's face - Maya Angelou
Saturdays are a something and nothing kinda day in our house right now.
Jaime Kay is doing 9-5 Wednesday through Friday at preschool with outstanding results and we couldn't be more pleased with progress.
Unfortunately, however, when Saturday rolls around, she is (unsurprisingly) out of her mind with fatigue and it's all on to even get her out of the house to the tiny park at the end of our road.
Meanwhile Jake has been getting Seb out of bed super early to work on his (
fear of) skateboarding before the big kids come in their droves to take over the bowl.
They tend to arrive home then at exactly the moment when we are ready to leave the house, and in the ensuing excitement, Jaime has disappeared out of sight and can be found tucked in her bed, catching up on some much needed zzzzs.
This afternoon, I took advantage of those zzzzs and slipped out of the house unaccompanied for a couple of hours.
Blue skies, sunshine, fine golden sand, deep green blue sea.
Everything as it should be, give or take a fresh breeze which made me wish I'd brought a cardie.
I called by our family's very favourite ice cream shop (What?! We're allowed - we live by the beach!), which was giving away ice cream today in celebration of it's first anniversary.
I met a really nice girl in the queue. Well, it was more, I dragged a really nice girl off the pavement and into the queue after she stopped to enquire what we were all waiting for. 'Not 'just' free ice cream', I explained, 'delicious free ice cream!' Well worth a short wait.
We chatted for a while; she was in Bondi with her boyfriend for the day from the inner west of Sydney, and they were both originally from Indonesia.
I kind of wished I'd got her number.
Got me to thinking, as I walked away without it, that one of the advantages of being older is the fact that you kinda know straight away when you've met a friend.
Seb asked me the other day why I always chat to everybody.
You just never know who you might meet.
Which got me to thinking about really odd spur of the moment friendships I've made along the way.
Friends I've met in odd situations
The friend of a friend of a friend.
I didn't really know the friend of a friend in the first place, although we had at least established that we'd met at a party before. He invited us over to his party, where I totally hit it off with one of the other guests, who I definitely didn't know at all. We did swap numbers, which always feels a little weird. Sort of like asking for a date, but just for girls.
This lady is everything I am not; independent, a talented writer who makes a living from her craft, single(ish), stylish, on trend, in crowd, late nights, holds her ale, long lie ins.
She knows next to nothing of diapers and developmental delays, school gate politics, husband hassles, groceries on a shoestring.
And yet as if by magic she's always there for me, I hope I'm there for her, and I would be lost without her endless dark humour and general knife sharp views of the world.
The carpark guy.
Random, but such an excellent pal of both mine and Jake's. Back in that great couple of months a year or so ago when I was fit and healthy and ran every day, I would always pop my head in the window of the little booth on my way back from the beach and chat to the carpark guy, also known as Dave. Generous, amusing, fun to hang out with, there's nothing Dave doesn't know about Bondi, and we're honoured to have him as a friend.
The parent of a kid at school with a similarly inappropriately clad toddler to match mine.
Grins all round as we simultaneously recognised the hasty act of lashing a small child into a stroller in time to dash to the school pick up on a sweltering hot day, and then looking down as you reach the building and realising the kid's wearing nothing but a diaper.
A friendship that has never looked back.
An outstanding example of not knowing how to pick your friends very well at all when young and foolish.
In the late eighties / early nineties I lived in London and worked in the city. Fresh out of high school and new to the whole metropolitan pace of it all, I aspired to be a sloaney type, all shoulder pads and suits and pearls. I hung around with girls who giggled and said 'baaarth' and 'frightful' and drank G&T with ice and a slice or Pimm's with fruit in the summer.
How, then, did I think it was a good idea to date an ageing militant communist trade union leader scouse scumball that I met on a train from Sheffield to London? For two whole years?? Sheesh.
Is this such an odd situation in which to meet new friends any more?
I have 616 facebook friends, which I am well aware is a ridiculously excessive number.
Of course, some of these I know already.
Some I've met since.
And there are countless among them that I would gladly meet in a heartbeat, should the geography of our lives align, and some I almost definitely will meet in the years to come.