This summer a friend came to stay with me who I hadn’t seen for ten years. A close friend who I admired greatly, with whom there were long lengths of time where there was no contact at all. This has happened to me before, where people I have loved and shared my heart with have disappeared, sometimes to reappear and sometimes not. I’ve been sad about this, resigned myself to it and at times tried to change it.
How did I let this happen? Because too much has happened and there’s still so much that needs doing. I think for most of my life I’ve been running whilst holding too many balls, and when I thought things had started to slow down – it all sped up again, this time with even more balls.
Eve flew over from Paris to see me, and we spent two days reconnecting and talking. I had missed her and was ashamed to admit I had forgotten how thoughtful, funny and politically aware she was, but the greatest gift she left me with was this yearning desire to not give up. ‘Travel’ she said in her gorgeous velvety French accent. ‘Come and see me. Life will pass you by if you don’t experience things. You will never stop being busy.’
I reassured her I would see her and when she returned to her Parisian home I thought long and hard about what she had said. Her words had inspired me. I would take more chances and do things I had stopped doing. I also decided I’d see as many friends as I could that lived out of London. I could stay with them, and if not, stay somewhere nearby, but it would give me the chance to reconnect with the friends I loved and experience new homes, cultures and countries.
That night I made a list of friends I missed and began contacting them. ‘Do you mind’ I asked nervously ‘If I come and see you?’
Their replies had come through before the night was over and plans began being concocted. I was going to travel to my friends, and the first stop was Bournemouth to see my darling Harriet.