Saturday, 1 January 2011

Chicken eating spiders and my best friend

My bestest oldest friend in the world is staying and it’s heaven. I met Jane at school but we became best friends in the sixth form, bonded by Latin A level and the Polemic and Social Society (a thinly veiled excuse for hanging out down the pub with boys).

I love her to the bottom of my black heart and she is James’ adored godmother. Well, what 12-year old boy wouldn’t love a bad-mouthed barrister who takes him to international rugby matches and buys him kickass rock music?

With Jane I can be totally myself; no need to play ‘nice’, no attempt to impress. When Jane’s around I feel eighteen again; doing the tarot, dancing wildly, talking long into the night about absolutely everything: silly stuff and serious stuff; smart stuff and spiritual stuff.

We’ve had some of  the best holidays together – to Russia; Greece, India, Egypt (twice). I nearly got her sold off to a Saudi prince in Cairo; she got me out of jail in Luxor.

I owe her so much, in every which way. And I worry about her so much too. I hate that her health isn’t great. I hate that she has to work her socks off and never seems to get a break. I hate that I can’t wave a magic wand and give her what she really needs and craves. I hate that she’s low.

‘You need a spark, a frisson,’ I said.
She nodded. ‘There’s just no joy in anything really. It’s all just so boring and predictable.’
I recognise that feeling. That was me.
‘Don’t you dare give up,’ I said.
She caught my eye. ‘I’m getting old.’
‘Oh for pity’s sake. It’s just beginning. It’s a new chapter.’
She looked doubtful.
‘Oh come on. Let’s believe in miracles.’

So we played the Silly Lottery Game. You know the one – I bet you play it too. It’s the one where we sort out all our friends and family and do our bit for world peace and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue Society and still have enough left over for a few treats.

‘We could rent a huge villa each summer where friends could just drop in and out,’ said Jane. ‘In Tuscany.’
‘Or northern California.’
‘US road trip!’
‘Dude ranching!’
‘Then New York for the museums and art galleries and music.’
‘Oooh yes, I never did get to The Cloisters to see the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. People were firing guns so I turned back.’
‘Greece again?’
‘Definitely. And Egypt. We could take James and go down the Nile on a felucca.’
‘Hmm, or a nice cruise ship. What about going to that place we never got to...’
‘Abu Simbel.’
‘That’s the one.’
‘Detour into the desert...’
‘Sinai?’
‘Any desert. I’m not fussy. I love deserts.’
‘Camels?’
‘Hmm, horses.’
‘I might need a Landrover.’
‘Nah, you’ll be fine.’
‘Not fat?’
‘Not fat. We’d have spent a month at Viva Mayr first getting fit.’
'Eating spelt rolls?’
‘Absolutely. And doing yoga and swimming in the lake. Where else?’
‘Honk Kong. Japan.’
‘Back to India. A lot more India.'
'No! Not more dodgy ayurvedic massage?'
'Loads more dodgy ayurvedic massage! But I’ve gone off the idea of Peru.’
‘Why?’
‘Spiders mainly. Chicken eating spiders and the ones that are so aggressive they run after you to bite you. I think they run faster than I can. It’s a deal breaker.’
‘Fair enough.’

She drank another bottle of wine and I had another glass of water. Then we were off again.

Today she goes back to London and I’ll miss her horribly.  I’m also going to make damn sure I buy a lottery ticket.

10 comments:

Tattie Weasle said...

I do that one too it's wonderful and yes keep buying the Lottery tickets you never know (although I only buy one on a roll over and always by lucky dip because if I bought one regularly with the same numbers I know that the one time I forgot would be the one day that my numbers would come up...!!)

Mrs. Tuna said...

We all have that one friend who knows us better than we know ourselves.

Frances said...

Old friends are great, and so are the possibilities of each new year. I admit to already enjoying just that little bit of extra daylight each morning and afternoon. Glad the sun is doing its annual stretching exercise with our planet.

Happy 2011 to you, Jane! Thank you again for getting me interested in the world of blogging.

xo

Fran said...

She sounds fun!

Irritatingly Optimistic said...

What a lovely conversation!
I too have a friend who was there with me during our wild and carefree single days - although on the odd occasions we talk on the phone we have to be careful what we talk about incase we are overheard!

I subscribe to the Lottery and that way I still get the momentary excitement when I get an e-mail saying I'm a winner! Of course £10 won't get me very far but for a second I'm convinced it's much more.

LITTLE BROWN DOG said...

You know you're really lucky to have such a special friend - treasure every moment. Love those fabulous "what if" conversations and don't have them nearly often enough.

Fingers triple crossed for your lottery numbers tomorrow - something tells me it could be a very special day (Capricorn eclipse and all that...)

XXX

Humdrum Mum said...

I had my oldest/longest friend over recently on a flying visit from Los Angeles - we haven't seen each other for 3 years but it felt like 10 days. How lucky we are to have friends like that.

Happy New Year to you - HMx

Frankie said...

Oh god, do they really have spiders that chase you in Peru? Not that I'm afraid of spiders, mind, but Em is. And he's the one that really wants to go to Machu Picchu.

GoldenGirl said...

I have a vacancy for a friend like that!

English Mum said...

I've gone right off Peru too...