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two hilarious chapters from my new book..

Life Begins At Fifty - The Book
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Friends like family

It was my birthday recently, and what really struck me, when I read all the lovely messages on Facebook was how many people I’ve actually met and befriended over the last 57 years!  I heard from a man I met on a plane to New York (and talked to death for 7 hours), and also a guy I got into conversation with on a train and who is now a Facebook friend, plus a lovely guy I met in Crete when my sister and I used to holiday there year after year.  I also got messages from loads of newfound friends from a team of people I trained with down in London and Leicester, including a Swedish guy who stayed at the same guest house as me.  We reminisced about drinking red wine in the car park, pretending we were in a beautiful garden (must have been the vino).

I also heard from lots of fabulous women from Betty’s Pick N Mix, a book I contributed to with 20-odd other authors, all brought together by the wonderful Betty Wilson…people who are like a second family and have become firm friends, including the infamous Betty herself.  I heard from women who trained with me in Reiki and Kinesiology, including Angie who now lives in Oz, people I met when I was on my world trip, and Vanessa, who I went skiing with having only met her a handful of times, and who has subsequently become a travel buddy.  And let’s not forget the friends I’ve had since time immemorial…people from schooldays, pony club days and the brilliant crew I used to work with in estate agency.   Oooh, I could go on and on.

But here’s the thing…friends really are what make the world go round.  In fact, when you think about it, all the things in life that are free are priceless!  Love, friendship, happiness, laughter!  You can’t buy any of them with money.  You create wonderful relationships by opening yourself up to others, making yourself vulnerable, and being open to conversation and friendship.  I mean, how hard is it to smile and say hello?

In a world where, all too often, people are glued to their smart phone, tablet or laptop, it’s really rather refreshing to have an actual conversation.  I have a feeling that in ten years’ time people will be attending courses on how to talk and relate to each other, which is really quite a scary thought.  But if all our so-called communication is then done via technology, our shopping done online, and even our exercise is done in front of a screen in our own home, when would we actually see people in the flesh?  We will all be cooped up at home, tap, tap, tapping away, living in a virtual reality with virtual friends and, unfortunately, virtual lives.  Just a thought …

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