Enduring Mateship Keeps Me Afloat

March 1, 2010 at 9:08 am (Uncategorized)

I keep restarting this year: today marks my third attempt. Happy New Month, everyone, so let’s shake off February blues and focus all our attention on March. Lovely March, one of my favourite months, traditionally a beautiful time in Sydney, although frankly it’s a bit of a shocker today. We’ve got sheets of rain, we’ve got wind and we’ve got unexpected cold – this must be the weather gods’ idea of payback, because they kindly held off over the weekend while our darling friends from NZ were here. Indeed, the weather broke only as we were driving them to the airport, and aside from that conditions were pretty bloody good.

Now I have a serious case of Friend Withdrawal. I really needed to see a couple of friendly and beloved faces after the bleak sadness of Thursday, and there they were, dear ones, so familiar and all unchanged between us though we only ever manage to clap eyes on each other every few years. Such is life for Pearson College and indeed all UWC alumni – students from around 75 countries are thrown out after two years of the IB, and in many/most cases return to their country of origin. I sure as hell did – once my scholarship ended in 1991 I had absolutely no choice in the matter (I’d made sure of that good and proper with an extraordinarily lack-lustre scholastic performance – socially, however, I was on fire…). Anyway, here we are, C and I, more than twenty years later, still mates.

It’s a very good result, especially given I get along famously with his wife, and C gets along terrifically well with Llew. The friendship might easily have ended up on the slagheap, it certainly had its ups and down during those long ago years of turbulent adolescence, and plenty of friendships fell, but this one’s endured, it’s gone the distance and become second nature to me, something I don’t ever question and which sustains itself unchecked though a year or more may pass in which we don’t exchange a single word. C is enduringly important to me, I love him, and so it’s been wonderful getting to know his gorgeous wife – also a C – in the years since they arrived for our wedding (Llew and C met many years before that, 1997 I think, but unfortunately we just couldn’t get to their wedding six months before ours), and then later in Auckland when we went to meet their two beautiful kids a couple of years ago. I don’t know when we’ll all see each other again, but we’ll manage it somehow, because it’s always seamless, it’s always so easy and so companionable and so uncanny. So natural it’s unnatural. Just what I needed, and if timing is everything, then they smashed this one right out of the park. Thank goodness for friends, and I don’t just mean mine. Thank goodness for all friends everywhere. They’re just lovely, and mine save me all the time (thanks, guys).



  1. Lilian Nattel said,

    I’m so glad you had them there, and that the friendship has endured.

  2. litlove said,

    The older friendships become very sustaining as time goes by, I find. My friends from school (we all met aged 11) are oddly enough the ones I keep in touch with best at the moment. Glad you had a lovely weekend and fingers crossed for March.

    • doctordi said,

      Yes, I think that’s true, LL. In the past 3 weeks I’ve also caught up with two very old school friends, who precede C chronologically by about five years, and there is a perpetual ease to our time together that is increasingly precious.

  3. Grad said,

    I still have my best friend from 1962, and she still is my best-best friend. Can’t imagine life without her at the other end of the telephone.

    • doctordi said,

      Graddikins, that’s brilliant, that’s a decade more than I’ve even been alive, so I can’t imagine the full richness of familiarity and satisfaction that must bring you both. Makes me very happy to think of it, though. Very happy indeed.

  4. David Rochester said,

    Ditto to the importance of friends … especially the ones who endure and know our past as well as our present selves.

    • doctordi said,

      Yes, I think that’s probably part of it, David. Also I think we shared a really formative period in our lives, and it’s wonderfully vivid even now because the friendship has survived. But yes, I think those really old friends just know you so well and the ease of it is exceptional. I feel really lucky to have them in my life.

  5. Pete said,

    Glad to hear the weekend was such a hit. And see, your weather fears were misplaced after all. Or perhaps the weather gods were just playing with you. 😉

  6. doctordi said,

    Toying with me, perhaps, but raining on Woo’s parade for sure – unfortunately she drew the short straw – as we were depositing our friends at the airport, the skies were opening up over Woo’s birthday picnic – I feel completely responsible!

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