Old Friends are Precious.
By Angela Dold

Like me, I suppose many of you have had family visiting over the holidays but like me do you breathe a sigh of relief when they’ve gone? You can control your life again. You get control of the TV remote.

You can read the paper in the morning and do the Code Breaker without having to rush. You don’t have to squeeze into the backseat of the car with beach paraphernalia sticking in some part of your body(fortunately I’ve got a bit of fat around my middle to cushion it) and last but not least, you can change the channel without having to sit and watch ‘The Block’ or equally excruciating “The Voice’.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family dearly and love seeing them (they live in Auckland so I don’t see them enough during the year) but having eight extra bodies in the house takes a bit of getting used to especially when I have to spend a week’s pension on groceries. But mostly, because I live on my own in a small home unit, it seems as if I’m in the middle of the Rugby World Cup crowd when they’re milling around me. 

The velvet silence that pervades the house when they go takes a little bit of getting used to. But, as I often say, “being alone is not necessarily being lonely”. Having friends is balm to our souls and U3A is a place where we can find any number of those.

So, join a group and find a new friend this year but make sure you don’t be a ‘neglectful friend’ to your old one. Too often a ‘new’ friend will take precedence and you are left wondering why the visits have stopped, or why that ‘phone hasn’t rung to make a usual coffee or lunch date. 

Angela Dold
U3A Tauranga - Creative Writing - January 2017