As I have written endlessly on this blog, I am in the incredibly fortunate position to be surrounded by an amazing group of friends. And not just the "acquaintance" type friends, the kind of friends who will move heaven and earth if you ask them. Who I know have my back and will be there any time I need them. They have rebuilt my pergola, provided a shoulder to cry on (along with soothing wine and chocolate), partied like there is no tomorrow with me and even once planned to spend a significant amount of money when I lost an important earring.
It hasn't always been like this. I grew up in Canberra and have seen my friends move away in waves. I left my primary school friends behind as I went to a different high school from them. High school people left next, with many heading to uni out of town. Then uni friends - there really aren't that many jobs in Canberra if you hope to work in advertising. In fact when I was about 23 I suddenly realised I had 2 friends left in town. That makes for a pretty lonely time.
But how things have changed. Dance changed it the most for me. It was there that I met some truly brilliant, amazing, unique people who bring real joy and warmth to my life. And now one of them is leaving. And not just heading to another city, he is going to the far side of the world Sweden.
We gathered on Saturday for a dinner party in his honour. It was an amazing meal, the food cooked by one of our friends was superb. But it was the atmosphere that really made the evening. The easy laughter, gentle mocking, intelligent discussion - oh and yes the point where the house almost got set on fire. As I sat there, I realised that I was completely at ease with these people and that is such a rare thing. It made me once again truly grateful to have such friends in my life, it really is a privilege.
We will miss our friend hugely. Luckily the Internet makes keeping in touch much easier and we have told him that he is now our free accommodation on the other side of the world, but I really hope that he can find a similarly fantastic group of people in Sweden.
On a completely separate note, my Mum has started a blog! I'm so proud of her, only a few years ago she was terrified of anything computer related, now she is on email, Facebook, Twitter and has her own blog. Head over for a read at Am I Old Yet?