“You’ve got a friend…”

Last weekend three of my best, most talented, creative & hard working friends came round.  These girls have been my friends for decades.  It’s strange to realise that I have friendships that span three decades.  It’s a huge privilege.

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Friends who’ve known you for 10, 20, 30 years have special insight.  They’ve seen you lose incisors, baby cheeks, dignity and more.  They’ve seen every teenage fad you embraced seeking a tribe. They’ve seen you fall over in the playground, lie about ignored homework and stress about exam results.  They’ve scooped you up when you left the bad boyfriend but still loved him.  They probably know every guy or girl you’ve ever been interested in, let alone those boyfriends bad and good.  They’ve held your hair back after three too many bacardi breezers and each other’s new born babies.

We’ve held each other in sorrow and toasted weddings.

We have grieved a beautiful girl.

We haven’t always been close.  If we’d seen past the cliques and labels sooner we could have been friends for so much longer.  I’m so glad we found each other.

We made pizza. I make it a lot, being far cheaper than supermarket ones.  I taught them how to knead dough away from them, not into the table. Try not to use too much flour. Keep your hands gentle.  Strong arms, straight wrists.  The dough needs to be supple. It’s a learnt skill that takes time, nothing inherent.

We shaped the pizza dough, easing it into mounds and leaving it to rise, and then rest.  We made the simplest pizza sauce.  I sauteed mushrooms with garlic, rosemary, garlic & white wine.  Sweet roasted peppers.

We talked about the small changes that we try at home to make healthier eating easy for our kids and ourselves.  Amongst the laughs and Insta stories, we talked about how we can make better lives for our children, nieces, nephews and families.  Our fears for the current climate and what we can do as individuals in our communities to face the darkness we feel is around. We talked about how we can explain what’s going to our kids without scaring them. Also: the transformative power of RuPaul, deliciousness of Minstrels.  Dogs & whiskey. Families, business plans, decorating.

It’s hard to articulate how important my friends are to me.  People whose experience of you spans decades and who accept you. Who have no obligation to.  Who laugh at your grump without indulging it.   Who know what form of arse-kick is necessary to deploy.

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Not my very masculine childhood of a lot of brothers, all testosterone, competition and grunts, love them though I do.

We don’t agree on everything, but that’s okay.  We talk and we listen and learn. The Carole King song of this post title makes me cry with gratitude, every time (even though I thought it was a ‘Brand New Heavies’ song.  Oh 1997).

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My youngest daughter asked me, aside from our home, where do I feel most at home.  I realised it’s not a place, it’s when I’m with the people I love and who love me.  I’m so abundantly lucky to have this many amazing people in my life.  Love you, ladies xx

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Simple pizza sauce:

1 can peeled plum tomatoes, the best you can afford
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh oregano, one sprig
Pinch salt
Pinch caster sugar

  1. Empty can of tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands (this isn’t the same as chopped tomatoes, they won’t disintegrate in the same way)
  2. Add about 15 ml oil, the oregano, salt & sugar
  3. Blend
  4. Taste
  5. Add more salt, oil or sugar to taste (blended tomato seeds can be very bitter, the sugar is used to correct that balance)

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