Sunday, October 28, 2018

Celebrating Friendships

French Village Diaries celebrating friendships
Being together - corridor decoration at the retirement home
My life since finishing my four-month contract at the library, has taken a hectic dive into the unknown, the unexpected and often the downright bizarre.

Some days have been full of laughter and cake, others have been emotionally tough, but the good and the bad have one thing in common; friendship. 

French Village Diaries celebrating friendships
Wine soaked sponge sticks
I am doing what I can, as a friend, to support one of the first people I met here in our village, as the bastard that is cancer tightens its grip upon her life. Morphine pumps, drips, drains and wine sucked through sponges on sticks, have become our apero norm, alongside laughter and good company. From translating for the doctors and nurses, to finding a local English-speaking vicar, to saying prayers with her (maybe that Catholic upbringing wasn’t wasted after all), I know I am doing all I can in a totally rubbish situation. 

In turn I have friends who are there for me too. From caring texts that make me smile, to cake-eating outings; the distractions are welcome and very much appreciated. 

French Village Diaries celebrating friendships
Mr Accordion and the birthday celebrations
Last week, another good friend had a favour to ask. Would I pop into the retirement home and visit her Mum, while she took a well-earned break for a few days. Having seen the devastation Alzheimer’s has had on her Mum, I was unsure if she would even recognise me, but visit her I would, and what a visit it was. She not only remembered me, she asked after Ed too and the god of cake appreciation was smiling down on me as my visit coincided with a communal birthday celebration. A room full of pensioners, an accordion player, foot-tapping music and even a spot of dancing, all helped to perk my mood up no end, and left us both laughing as well as oohing and aahing over the light and creamy, raspberry topped gateau. I would have been happy to stay forever - in fact maybe I should ask if they need a librarian.

Cancer, Alzheimer’s and the constant worry and fear over Brexit, plus the time and effort required to cope with the Brexit bureaucracy mean my stress levels are high and life has felt pretty crap at times. 

Thank god for good friends, friendship, wine and cake. 

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