Making friends

The trouble is, when you tell people what you’re going to write about, you raise expectations which aren’t necessarily going to be justified. It was entertaining at the time, is all I can say.

When I moved here, I had a two-year-old son as well as my older children. I was not that good at making new friends, but I really wanted to try because I couldn’t rely on the old social network that had gradually built up over many years. Luckily, a small child is a very good way in.

A week or two after we did move in, the Sage decided to go to church on Sunday. I cried off because I was planting daffodil bulbs. After the service, he came back and said that we were all invited back to the Rectory for coffee, especially me. I was embarrassed but he said they insisted, so I went. My friends Denise and Rob’s daughter had been baptised, which was why there was a celebration afterwards. I turned up with young Ro, of course (I think that the other kids were left home alone, I’m sure they didn’t come along. It was fine…) and found that other people had toddlers too and that the village Mothers and Toddlers group was about to restart. Gill, whose youngest son was six weeks old, was holding a coffee morning to raise a few pounds for basic equipment and I was invited to it “next Tuesday.”

Once I arrived home again, I was in a quandary. Was next Tuesday the day after tomorrow or a week later? I had no one to ask. I only knew the venue. So I turned up on Tuesday and no one was home, so I slunk home and went again a week later, and that was the right day. I never did tell any of my new friends, though nowadays I’d certainly tell the joke against myself.

This is going to ramble on, I’m afraid. I won’t get to the WI thing I mentioned for another day or two. I digress a great deal, but I do get there in the end, so fair warning.

The Mums and Tods, as it became known, wasn’t kicking off for a few more weeks, but there was going to be another social gathering at Adèle’s house. Gill told me how to get there, so I set off in good time. Darlings, I cocked up again. There are a couple of ways to Adèle’s house and I got at least four of them wrong. I did at least know her surname, and stopped and asked twice and was impressed that everyone knew her. But I still got lost; which actually isn’t at all surprising in that sprawled-out village. I turned up eventually and did admit to having got lost. Ro must have been a patient child as he hated car journeys.

I’m still friends with all the people I’ve mentioned by name, thankfully. Isn’t that wonderful? I’ve given their real names as I would never have any reason to say anything that isn’t wholeheartedly complimentary, so they could be mildly embarrassed but never offended. If there were any dirt to dish, I’d obviously spare their blushes, but there isn’t.

4 comments on “Making friends

  1. Scarlet

    Children and dogs – they are natural socialising tools! I only got to know people in my tiny hamlet when I started walking my dog. My other trick for meeting people was joining a pantomime society, sadly they don’t have one where I live now.

    1. Z Post author

      You are so right, Scarlet. I had a dog when I moved here too, but it turned out that dogs make for casual friendships where you’re known as Benji’s mum, whereas a child who befriends another child … oh, okay, I was later probably Ronan’s mummy but in those pre-school years, I made friends of his friends’ parents and we had our own names.

      Next village has still a pantomime society. But they have all the social gatherings that many villages have lost.


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