With A Little Help From My Friends

“I’ll get by with a little help from my friends” ~ The Beatles

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Friendship (n): the state of being a friend, a friendly relation or intimacy


Man. What a few weeks it has been. I don’t know if it’s been Mercury being retrograde, the apocalyptic weather, or the near on nuclear war (possibly due to Mercury being retrograde?) but since mid August life has been scary, intense, hard, and at times overwhelming.

There have been some difficult conversations. There have been more than a few tears. And not everyone has made it through to the other side.

But as I sit here, strangely in sounder mind and body than I have been in a long time, I know why I’ve made it through. The running helps, as do the weights; the time spent cooking a nice meal for myself; the sitting down at my laptop to bleed (thanks, Hemingway). But really I’m here because of my friends.

It’s such a strange thing, friendship;  how some people just move in to your heart and never leave. And, inexplicably, how you seem to do the same with them. We might never know how much space we may take up in someone else’s heart but what they say to us, how they treat us, that tells us all we need to know.

Sometimes it is the little things that remind you of the importance of you in the world. The pretty blonde with the excellent lipstick getting you a beer, the cool AF online friend being excited about the prospect of meeting for a drink, being high-fived at a dinner party for saying something so wrong but also so very right. All these friendly acts, gestures, that say ‘yes, there people in the world who actually like you’.

And then there’s the big stuff too. The friend who calls you whilst driving home from a late shift because life is too damn hard and you can’t stop crying. The one who hugs you and then knows not to let you go because you’re not ok and all you need in that moment is to be held. The ones who you hardly ever see but when it matters, when it really deeply matters, they always step up the plate.

We all need people. To laugh with, to cry with, to share thoughts and ideas and feelings. To hear the truths of our heart,  and to listen, to be open, to care, when we are trusted with the heart truths from another.

May you always have friends to celebrate with you in your triumphs and laugh with you in your disasters. And to my friends all I can say is thank you.




You got a friend in…you?

“You got a friend in me” ~ Randy Newman

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Friend (n): a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection and loyalty

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; The only person you are guaranteed to wake up with for the rest of your life is yourself. 

Isn’t that amazing?

One person who knows just how you like your tea in the morning, someone who will always share that last Rolo. Breakfast in bed just the way you like it, even if you do have only yourself to blame for the toast crumbs later.

And ok, you can’t give yourself a lie in whilst you make your tea, not even with a teasmaid as that still requires some arms-out-of-the-duvet action, but you can make it just how you want.

Having a friend, a friend who knows you well, who is on your side, that’s damn amazing.

But I’ll let you into a secret. The other night I slept appallingly badly. And, after waking at two and listening to old News Quiz episodes that were painfully pre-Brexit nostalgic then a whole Graham Greene adaptation and reminiscing about that time Hugo Speer kissed me, I still couldn’t sleep. Yet as I tried counting down from 3,000 (much more reliable than sheep – have you seen the trouble sheepdogs have rounding them up? Yet we are just supposed to count them orderly jumping over fences? I think not.) Anyway, I found myself listing every single physical attribute I disliked about myself from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I’m ashamed to say it was a very long list. Perhaps I should’ve counted those sheep after all.

I caught myself, just as I was starting on my personality traits that I don’t like. And whilst I didn’t have the mental wherewithal to counteract anything I’d said with a positive, I had enough about me to say stop. Stop, I won’t treat myself like this. I am better than this.

Because I am. Because we all are. Because we all need to be our own friend. And no friend needs or deserves a diatribe of dislikes ever but especially not in the middle of the night.

So think on it, for me if you can’t do it for yourself yet. Be your friend. If you can’t counteract the negatives with positives yet then try to not give the negatives the benefit of sunlight and oxygen. Save those for the good stuff in life.

Drop me a line on a comment box-shaped postcard and let me know how you get on.




“Dream a little dream of me” ~ The Beautiful South*

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Dream (n): an imagined series of events, an aspiration, goal, aim


I woke this morning with the feeling my dream was trying to tell me something and also a strong desire to contact my friend Kim to say hello and see how she was. As I tried to decipher the strands of my dream and work out what they meant, a message popped up from my phone from Kim. It was a message of love and appreciation and it felt to me like a sign that the skeins of thought from my dream needed to be untangled and shared. So here they are.


Give to charity, invest in the Arts, send someone a card. Giving doesn’t have to be money; it can be time, it can be donating upwanted items, it can be assistance of a practical level. That’s not to say rush out of your door and volunteer or sign up to a direct debit for every charity that crosses your path, the vast majority of us are simply unable to do this. But many of us can find the time to give a friend a call and talk with them, maybe pass the time of day or listen if they feel they need to unburden themselves. Giving, be it of ourselves or in a more material way, can help us to think of others and, in turn, make us feel better about ourselves. And what part of society couldn’t use a little more of that?


You are unique. No-on has your specific knowledge and skillset. No-one has your specific experiences. So why not share them? Why not tell people about them? If your passion is camponology or mountain safety then share what you know. If you are great at building websites why not contact the campanologists or mountaineers and see if they would like a website to help share their knowledge? I know things of privacy law, the making of cocktails, the lighting of movies; all because I know people who took the time to write things down or talk about them, and I was interested in finding out. Sometimes I wish I could stand in a library with my arms outstretched and have knowledge pour into me. But I can’t, not least because I’d probably be thrown out. But I can absorb what others tell me. And, in turn, share my knowledge, my passions, with others. We all have so much, in so many ways, so let’s spread it around.


If you don’t like someone that’s fine. If you don’t like an opinion that’s fine too. But to insult, deride, make personal remarks, that’s less fine. It’s disrespectful to the person, the situation, and also to you. Better to walk away than engage in unpleasant mud-slinging. Consider your environment; respect the space by using a bin and not spitting on the floor. Give your seat to another on the tube if they look like they need it more, not because chivalry or age, just because it is the decent, respectful thing to do. In short, do unto others as you would done by. If you don’t want to be sworn at or about, hurt, abused or ignored, then don’t do those things to others. And don’t stand for them being done to you, by others or in your own head. You are worth more than that.

Don’t sell yourself short

I’ll say it again: you are unique. Why should you hide your light under a bushel? Unless, of course, you are creating an art installation, in which case carry on, my bushel-lighting friend. You have a voice that should not be silenced because you believe you don’t know enough or because X is better. X is great at being X. But you are perfect at being you. No-one else can do that. So let the light that is you shine out in the world.


This was the message in my dream. I’m giving it to you to read, sharing it as food for thought, and respecting myself enough to say that I have a voice and I wanted this to be heard.

Interested in your thoughts, as always.





*many versions of this song have been recorded, I’m going with the one in my head

Here’s To You Happiness

“I feel myself falling, I’m feeling happy now” ~ Take That

Or, as defined by my dictionary:

Happy (adj): feeling or expressing joy, causing joy or gladness, fortunate or lucky


I feel happy; happy in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. So here’s to all of you who helped get me here.


Happiness is:

Peace of mind

Good music

People who make you laugh

People who know what to do when you cry

Learning new things; about the world, about others, about yourself

Appreciating the beauty in life

A good pair of boots

Words; writing them, reading them, saying them



Being lucky


Understanding, knowing, and never doubting your own quality

Hope you’ve all got happiness in your life. If not, borrow some of mine. I have plenty to go around.



Pondering Happiness

“I feel myself falling, I’m feeling happy now” ~ Take That

Or, as defined by my dictionary:

Happy (adj): feeling or expressing joy, causing joy or gladness, fortunate or lucky


I haven’t done one of these recently. But as Summer slides into Autumn I am pondering over the things I want most in my life for continued happiness


Happiness is:

People who make me laugh

A decent fried egg and mushroom sandwich

A wide and varied social circle


Tea. In a mug. Preferably one with a 70’s cartoon character on it

The satisfaction of a job well done

A good book

Friends; close, far, like-minded, utterly different, mad, bad, and wonderful to know



My family

The night sky

Always being able to find something to smile about


Count your blessings and let me know, there may be more out there than you think.