I am so lucky to have great friends. Quite often I forget just how great they are and sometimes I feel frustrated as I live far away from them. However, today I have been reminded of lots of great friends - I was laughing out loud this morning in front of my computer as some really funny anecdotes about Ravel and Debussy were being jostled around on one friend's facebook page...I thought facebook was meant to be quite trashy but suddenly a worldwide network of harpists were alive in response to a query about the great composers' harp works and everyone was obviously keen to show off their knowledge and in a very amusing manner. I was reminded of Kenneth Williams on 'Just a Minute' and other classic radio shows where he used to demonstrate his knowledge on a vast array of subjects while delivering it all with comic flair and audience-warming personality. Helen Leitner, nee Radice, is this friend - she is a fountain of knowledge and good humour, none of which seems to have been quenched by the arrival of her first child a few weeks ago - a beautiful daughter named Rosalie. Welcome to a World of fun with Helen and Harry, Rosalie!!

 My son is my friend. I have no idea if I am his. I also am becoming increasingly aware that the balance has shifted and I now need HIM far more than he needs ME! Still, he's a great friend, terrific company and is aquiring his own taste in music. In the car we are mostly listening to the All-American Rejects 'Move Along' - I'm not sure how edifying this is in comparison to the Handel Harp Concerto but I think these lyrics are worth quoting:

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through

Good for driving, good for love, good for life! My son is keeping me on track.

Today I met up with a friend who has had a dreadful year, both in relationships, family trauma and work. I am so proud that this person has come through it as well as she has and I am so honoured that we shared our experiences today. Talking about grief is not easy for anyone and yet we all go through it at some point. I strongly feel that we should all be more open with our friends and families about the bloody awful aspects of life. When we suffer in silence and become weary or depressed, the size of our problems grow and magnify and cast a longer shadow over our lives.

Even though I am a 'glass half full' type of person and try to accentuate the positive rather than dwelling on the negatives, I am plagued by the same fears and insecurities as everyone else. I also worry about other people a lot and feel bad that I cannot do more to help. However, my mound of problems has been beaten down to size continually this year by a supportive family who help me with my son, an inspirational sister who has produced a beautiful nephew for me! a wonderful friend in Glasgow called Paul Tracey, brilliant colleagues who are also close friends: Harriet, Keziah and Lisa, and my boyfriend Alex. 

I am so grateful for the people who support me and put up with me, no matter whether they last heard from a week ago or a year ago. Friends are amazing!