Friendships that last

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I have just spent a few days with a couple of old pals of mine who, after 15 years of asking, eventually managed to drag themselves up to Scotland.

They managed to chill out and relax (they run a pub in Chester and are always working!) and I thoroughly enjoyed their company and the laughs!  (not to mention the wine and the vodka!).

Friendship is a funny thing … some of the people who you think will be in your life forever slide away… some slowly, some suddenly and sometimes we beat ourselves up about it.   I know I used to.

Time and age teach you great things … more about yourself than other people, as we all grow and change at different times.

I am very, very lucky with the friends that I have in my life… and I know it.   They make my life richer and more beautiful and of course much, much more fun!

There will always be fairweather friends who come and go in your life, that is just the way it is.   However there will be others who will be friends and in your life for a long time, you won’t have to spend all your free time with them, you may only see them now and again but you know in your heart that they would do for you what you would do for them.

These friendships have meaning, they are based on trust and loyalty and a maturity that sadly evades some.

These are the friends that I love … thank you …

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Travelling through life …

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As we meander down our paths of fate we experience things that stay with us forever.

Sometimes these things are unexpected .. a view that etches itself into your brain. an experience that changes us or marks us forever,  a song that touches us to our soul… or the people we meet on our journey that open up a part of us we never knew existed.

I read a post the other day that said that sometimes in life we meet people on our travels, that will travel with us for the whole journey, some for part of it and others we should leave at the kerb.

I guess I have traveled the majority of my journey through life and yet I still find myself surprised at the attitude of some people… you end up being caught up in someone else’s insecurities, lies, ego and jealousy.

Frankly, I have had enough of this in my past that has left me suspicious and questioning of people’s motives.   

I tend to be open, maybe too open and I find that the people who cannot handle my openness are people who have a lot to hide…. or are suspicious of me because I am so open.

I have nothing to hide in my life …. don’t get me wrong … I’m far short of perfect and I have made some horrendous fuck up’s … but I accept that .. I accept a lot about me now that I never understood when I was younger and I’m ok with that.  It is done.  It has gone.

I am going to continue on my own little merry way … taking the steps and the path I want to take .. I have friends in my life that I love completely .. and they know it … and it will remain that way.   They bring joy to my life and make me happy … and I am not prepared to lose that.

 

 

 

Friendship

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Friendship is not about the parties or the fun.   

Friendship is more than that, it is the people who make you stop and think.

Sometimes you do not like what you hear, but a true friend tells you the truth, no matter how hard it is to accept.

I am lucky, I have a few really good friendships, people who I love and trust, who tell me when I am blinded to what I am doing.

A recent example of this is that I have been trying to form a friendship with someone who was once more than a friend.   I felt … and actually still feel it is the right thing to do, so I tried.

I have to hold my hands up and say i have failed.    

Some people are not in your life forever, we have to let them go and treasure the people who really care for you.   Words of love and friendship mean nothing, anyone can say them, it is the actions and the willingness to listen that proves a friend.

Thank you my friends for being there for me when I need you, I hope you feel the same way about me.

 

 

Share the love

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Over the past few weeks I have witnessed love being shared in the most amazing ways between some wonderful friends.

I attended the civil ceremony celebration of Gillian and Terri, the wedding of Jean and Wullie and this Thursday my great “bloke” mate Marina will have a civil ceremony with the lovely Lorraine.   

All of these are fantastic examples of love between two people and the happiness that they share with friends and family.

I am also very privileged to watch the story unfold of two wonderful friends who are nearing completion of adopting two children.  I will not name them for privacy reasons, but many of our shared friends will know who I mean.

The two friends in question are the most wonderful, open hearted, caring women you can ever hope to meet.   They are happy to dedicate their lives and sacrifice a lot for the love they have for others in need.   

I admire all my friends, I love so many people for their caring attitude, their honesty, their humour and their courage but these two friends have shown me that happiness is found by sharing and caring for others.

There are many people in life who are happy to take, to use, to see a benefit out of a friendship.  These people do not stay in your life.

The beautiful people do.

Thank you my beautiful friends.

 

Making friends….

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Me and Lea at Inbetweeners 80’s night

In the lesbian world when a relationship ends you sometimes feel a bit isolated or alone.   For many this is a trying time and when the reality of being “on your own” hits you do realise that sometimes you have to get out there and meet new people.

I found myself in this position when a long term relationship of 8 years broke up.   I had friends but they were long standing friends of many years and most of them lived down south.   Locally I was alone when it came to lesbian friends.      A friend of mine told me about a woman’s group that she had set up in Edinburgh, Rubyfruits, that met on a weekly basis, so after a few weeks of doubting whether I wanted to walk into an established group on my own, I plucked up the courage to go through to a meeting.    It was the right decision at the right time for me.   I have met and formed great friendships over the last three years and through Rubyfruits I then discovered a group in Dundee, Outskirtsocial, where I have met other friends.   These groups are designed to bring women together to socialise, organise events and make friends and work extremely well for women of all ages.

The events are varied and frequent.  We have bowling, walking, barbecues, theatre and cinema nights, camping, weekends away, disco’s and general shenanigans!

I live in Fife and realised that there was nothing that worked in the same way as these groups so I decided to set up Fife Inbetweeners (Inbetweeners because we are between Edinburgh and Dundee).   Last weekend we celebrated our first anniversary of the group with an 80’s night.

It was lovely to sit there and see friends, who without the groups, I would probably have never met… it was also lovely to sit back and see that through Inbetweeners we now have 1 engaged couple and a new romance blossoming.   For such a small group of women (sometimes we total 20 in number) this is a great wee record!

Romance is NOT the main purpose of the groups, but a lovely addition to the friendships we build.

All the groups have had their romance stories (I even managed a very short one myself!) but the main purpose is friendship, support and a bliddy good laugh now and again.

After visiting friends in Romania I realise how lucky we are in the UK to have such freedom over our sexuality and how open we can be about it.    I have friends in Romania who have to live such a sheltered, closeted life that they have no other lesbian friends at all.   They have to stand alone and fight for their relationship and their love and they have my utmost respect for how they have done this.

One day my friends will visit and I will show them how we enjoy our friendships over here, I think they will be stunned at how easy it is.

If you are in Scotland and would like to know more about lesbian groups in your area please let me know .. I know of groups in Fife, Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow and can put you in contact with the right people.

Do not sit alone and let life pass you by, get out there, make friends and learn to laugh again!

52.5

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Today I am 52.5 … a strange thing to say I know … but my birthday is Christmas day and as a kid my mum used to give me a special day in the summer because she felt it was unfair for me to only have one day per year to celebrate.

I haven’t really celebrated my “half” birthday in many a year, but last year I ended up having a barbeque, not for me really, but for an ex who was celebrating her birthday.

It was a bit of a struggle for me.   I tried to enjoy the day as my garden was full of some wonderful and funny women but I felt very out of sorts.  It was nothing to do with any of the people there but rather within me.

I found it very hard that day, I ended up sitting in the summerhouse trying to find some peace but I tried very hard to make myself “mingle” … but I was forcing it, forcing humour, forcing smiles … I was struggling .. I wanted to be happy, but I wasn’t.     It was so much of an effort and I just felt exhausted.     I had also spent some time picking out what I thought was a fabulous birthday present.   I was wrong and I ended up feeling very disappointed, not only because my ex didn’t like it or want it (it was a small Fossil leather bag), but that I had misjudged it so badly.  

This year I am not having a BBQ, instead I will be celebrating the 1st birthday of Fife Inbetweeners (a gay women’s group that I run) … we are having an 80’s party, with 80’s food and a pool competition.    It will be an evening spent with a small number of friends and this year I feel like partying, my humour will not need to be forced and I can enjoy the company for the great friendship it brings.   

Sometimes we cannot see things in life until we look back on them from a very different viewpoint.

This weekend I will smile and celebrate where I am in life … I like it here, everything feels great again!

 

 

I left my heart ….

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… In Romania ….. oh damn .. doesn’t quite fit with the song!

Well .. I’m back in Scotland after the most fantastic week with friends in Romania.   My pal Alex and I travelled over together, which in itself was an experience!   Alex has a broken ankle and had booked wheelchairs at the airports .. great .. fantastic .. aye right! … she sat there like the Queen of Sheba being pushed along the long, long corridors of Heathrow while I ran alongside like some sort of Quasimodo from the sticks!!     However, we did get priority treatment and to the front of the security queues etc … so it wasn’t all bad!

We spent the first two nights in Bucharest at the home of my friends … during this time we experienced the drivers of Bucharest in all their glory!   Traffic lights are for decoration, lanes are just paint on the road .. and roundabouts … well .. they are just parking spaces!

To see Bucharest was an experience is an understatement … absolutely fascinating.. from the drivers (obviously!) to the beautiful buildings on show (and hidden away) … a place I would highly recommend everyone visits!

We left Bucharest after 2 nights of being fed so much food that I thought I was going to explode only to arrive in Sinaia in Transylvania and be treated to another HUGE traditional meal at a restaurant in the mountains.    Not only was the company and food great BUT during the time there a bear was wandering outside the restaurant .. not that we seen it .. but Alex and I were like two kids in a sweetshop … until we had to leave  … then I was more than delighted to get into the car before the bear got me!

After 2 fantastic days in the Sinaia area, where we visited Bran Castle (Dracula’s castle) and Peles Castle and saw some wonderful scenery, we moved up to Sibiu … not as dramatic scenery wise around the hotel but the main town was extremely beautiful .. as was a very special little bar we found that had only been open for 2 days .. I think we sampled most of the cocktails there … *smile* … 

We discovered new words in the English language like Parkated .. infact we decided we like the word parkated so much we used “ated” at the end of most words … which at one point nearly killed us all as we were laughing so much in the car I thought we were going to crash!

We had a fantastic traditional meal in the town … along with traditional Romanian drinks … and although Alex and I were very keen to taste everything that was authentically Romanian we did draw the line at pigs brains …. *shudder*

Our final day up in Transylvania was visiting Balea Lake which is high in the mountains up the famous Transfagarasan Road … the drive was spectacular, the lake mysterious and wonderful (still partially frozen over in June!) and we even managed to have a snowball fight!

We left the lake and headed back down the mountain, presuming that we had seen everything exciting that we were going to see … how wrong we were … as we turned a corner, there in the middle of the road was a huge bear … we screamed with excitement and scrabbled for our camera’s .. I managed to get a couple of shots in .. but the do not capture the size or the beauty of the animal … he (or she!) was HUGE … and sat looking at the car for a good few seconds before heading back into the forest.

Our last night ended at 3.30am in the morning … me and one of my friends staying up to chat about the holiday, life and laugh at the experiences of the past week….  it was truly a holiday of a lifetime for me .. brilliant scenery, brilliant experiences and brilliant company … 

I hope to return … 

Some photos of the trip below!

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