How long has it been?

Clare birthday friends I feel all rather loved and lovely now.

You see, sometimes when you are single (actually, sometimes even when you are not) you struggle to remember just how powerful and plentiful platonic love is. It is all too easy to feel sad that you don't have someone to hold your hand and share in your day-to-day drudgery, when in fact you do. It's also far too easy to forget just how many important someones you have, and who hope they have you.

This May has been full of people I find to be fantabulous and who have gone an extra mile (sometimes a few hundred) to turn up and say hi. These great people are my friends, and I must say right now, I am feeling a lot of love.

May is my birthday month, and for no particular reason this year I decided to have a whole month of birthday. Firstly I threw a great big party in cohorts with my good brother, with whom I currently share a dwelling. I was bowled over by how many old friends came from far and wide to celebrate, reunite and laugh (a lot). I was equally awestruck by how many new friends not only came and enjoyed, but in one rather spectacular case, even made an amazing and personalised cake for my good self!

As a side note, it says 'King for a Day' as a reference to the Green Day song of the same name, which is about dressing up as a drag queen. Perhaps you know enough of me from this blog so far to guess that I am not a fan of artificially imposed gender stereotypes and norms, and love a bit of gender-bending word play, thought and action. Thus the personalised cake. (And the 'C' on the crown, is of course, for Clare.)

A couple of weeks after the party, I also took a trip up to my old stomping ground in Manchester to see a few extra people who couldn't make the party and to visit (and run with) a very good friend indeed. I may not have described her in quite those terms just before the 5K was about to start... but as you most likely guessed, I did better than I hoped, felt all proud and am now extremely grateful to her for suggesting that particular form of torture for me in the first place.

The northern weekend and the party in particular let me see people from all sorts of pockets of my life again. I've had catch-ups, moans, news and commiseration. Good old fashioned raucous laughter, silliness and talking like no time has passed at all. And best of all, I've had proof. Proof that I have a whole big bunch of brilliant friends, who still want to come out and say hey. To me.

Life happens, events and worries take over, places and circumstances change. This is all inevitable. And every now and then you have make a little effort, sometimes travel a little, and make the space and time to reconvene. But oh my goodness is it worth it.

It does not matter if you are single or attached, happy or sad, busy or bored - every now and then it is absolutely necessary to stop and think 'how long has it been?' And knowing the answer, since it is always the same, follow it immediately with not only the thought, but also the action, to say, 'let's rectify that.'

I bet you'll feel all loved and lovely if you do.