While looking around for EC, I found myself standing a metre away from a friend and former neighbour, who was also prowling around the same book stall. It can be a very small world sometimes. I find such coincidences and linkages quite precious.
When I go away, inevitably my time is limited and so is my energy, and ability to organise enough meetings in the time available. This time, I did not manage to contact some of the friends I would like to have seen, and, of course, being a child-minder, I had to squeeze it all into the daytime. Maintaining friendships takes time and effort.
I had lunch with another friend today before setting off on my return journey. We have known each other since the early 1980s, in a variety of circumstances, including our professional lives and membership of the dame choirs, and we are now both widowed. My friend H is a wonderful person, always interesting, friendly, so very competent, a cat lover par excellence, and a wonderful host who gives me house room from time to time. We met at a local art gallery, to which I hied in order to pick up a framed print which I bought, despite having had to squander heaps on Fernando. But it is a beautiful print, and is now hanging on my wall, I purr at it as I pass, and pause to gaze, and am glad.
I had a short time with another friend, who has to be one of the keenest gardeners of all time. She is a former colleague and in her retirement has become a good and impressive artist, and I am very tempted to buy a copy of her print of red toadstools and associated scenery (when I recover from Fernando and my latest extravagance, I hope).
It is nice to be home, to admire anew my timber floors, and to be putting things away, and taking up the threads of my everyday life. Tomorrow the Knitting and Crochet group is going to look at the Wrap with Love Headquarters, and I am looking forward to that. Not that I managed to get much done while I was away. And now there are all these new books to read. Or to dip in and out of.