I’ve got a bunch of female friends whom I’ve hung out with over the years. Most of us are in our late 60s and early 70, some single, some still married – but we can still have fun. We often share a birthday celebration with a meal, wine and a lot of giggling and funny stories. They are kind and supportive and we are always there for each other through life’s many challenges.
Before Covid-19 we would go to see the ballet performed in a local town, requiring a night’s stay. We decided to have another go. 6 of us in two cars. A few hours’ drives with me stuffed in the back seat with a fair bit of luggage, but I was grateful to be driven somewhere. We had brunch at a riverside cafe in the sunshine and met up with the others.
Now we are all very different. I’m pretty laid back, and quirky but can be a bit cranky if people are slow and indecisive. Our driver had only recently retired and was enjoying her freedom from her work regime. The other passenger had suffered a recent bereavement and was very weepy and needed lots of tissues.
The other car arrived so we checked into our two apartments. Very nice. And went to a local winery for wine tasting and lunch. And that’s when the crazy happened. One woman was not a drinker so looked a bit po-faced as we relaxed and giggled and swigged our mouthfuls of wine, giving the poor young waiter a bit of cheek – which he took with a grain of salt. I already felt half-cut as we went into our lunch.
Ah, one of them was a vegetarian who eats chicken and fish. The waiter looked puzzled. But isn’t that meat he asked? Hmm, no reply. Another was diabetic but didn’t make a song and dance about it, and the other had diverticulitis – very painful, so ate very little as she could not eat anything on the menu. How I thanked God for my cast iron gut as three out of the 6 of us ate our lunch with no issues.
The ballet was wonderful, an overseas company put on a stunning performance. We were going to go out and have supper, but everywhere was closed. Secretly I was happy as my pyjamas called, along with a cup of tea and a cosy bed. After all, it was nearly 10 pm, a late night for me.
Morning came after a good night’s rest. A bit of retail therapy before we met the other three for breakfast at a riverside cafe. A bit grumpy with the food options. Oh, dear. The chairs were hard and had no backs. Food in cardboard boxes with wooden cuttlery? oh, dear. I stoically perched on my high stool (my pet peeve as I feel like a budgie on a rung) and happily drank my excellent coffee and scoffed my dead pig and egg roll. Yum.
The poor souls with food issues limped through various odd arrangements of food, from cold beetroot to limp lettuce and gluten-free bread. However, the rest of us hit the shops, got a few bargains and felt like the 24 hours were just wonderful.
The trip back was slowed by a truck accident so we all tried to ignore our full bladders and busy home schedules as we limped along the congested highway.
Finally home. I love my girlfriends as they love me. They understand my flaws and occasional struggles as I understand theirs. It was only as I wrote this that I reflected once again that friendships are so important, and they need to be nurtured to flourish. Looking forward to the next “nurture” session.