I am blessed with my friendships.
As I walked off the gangplank yesterday morning and finally got some precious mobile phone reception, I read a post on Facebook from my mate – and dogsitter – Glen showing Charlie my mad moodle making gentle love to his stuffed white tiger in my backyard.
Glen captioned it: “Having just enjoyed a cheese platter and a chilled Riesling, Charlie likes nothing more than to ravage his white tiger as she lays back and thinks of England.”
It gave me such laugh.
Then my dear, dear friend Lorrae collected me from the pier for the most lovely day. First she dropped the kids and Pop at the museum and pressed a $20 bill into each of their hands as spending money. Then she took me for a walk, a bowl of pasta and a wander through the markets.
All my single-parent-on-a-cruise-ship kinks unravelled as she enveloped me in her Scottish good humour. I talked far too much, as is my way these days, but she listened long and sympathetically to my well-worn tale.
Lorrae and I met when I arrived from Singapore to edit Woman’s Day. I was a weekly magazine newbie, she was a veteran. We assessed each other warily, but soon became firm friends.
Many friendships you make in magland evaporate when you leave, but my bond with Lorrae – and Glen – has endured. She sends the kids birthday and Christmas presents each year and we catch up when we can.
We both mourn the excitement of weeklies, but feel an equally profound relief to have left them.
A text arrived from my old friend Wendy as I climbed back onto the ship. Wendy and I worked at Studio Magazines way back when the Recession was about to hit. Remember the Recession? Or do I sound like an old biddy rambling on about rationing during the war?
Wendy and I would pop to the Golden Sheaf at lunchtime for a fizzy drink and a spot of The Young And The Restless on the pub tellie. Oh, and a natter, of course,
It being a teeny tiny world, we now live around the corner from each other and go on blathery bush walks every few Tuesdays.
I called Wendy when my marriage first fell into pieces. She raced over and held my hand on my back deck as I sobbed.
Yesterday’s text announced she was back from her holiday and asked if we could amble again this week.
Her words made me feel loved and missed.
It’s such a nice feeling and it reminds me: whatever happens, I am not alone.