I’ve “lost” my friendships twice in my life. The first time was when we went through a.. well, a life change. I won’t go into the details. But suffice to say, I ended up feeling lonely, and isolated, and forgotten, by and large by people who I thought loved me. It was a very hard season. I ended up on anti depressants, and I was broken and hurt. I also put on a lot of weight (thank you anti depressants)- the effects of which I am still trying to deal with to this day, more than 4/5 years later.

Anyway, out of that, I had to do a lot of soul searching. I had some wonderful friends (and you know who you are) who helped me through that dark time… but part of my soul searching was this longing to find MY people… MY tribe. And while I did have friends – wonderful people – I wasn’t necessarily on their invite list… and that’s what I mean by my tribe… the people who ask me over for coffee, or we share a glass of wine together. People who just LIKE me for ME, and really want to just hang out with me.

In that strange season, I took up running again. I started trails, and the bug just BIT. I was never really much of a runner- I’m still not. But run I did. Maybe the air helped to clear my mind, and ease my soul. In any event, the open air did something in me. It firstly cemented my love of running- especially the trails. It made me want to challenge myself- to try new things. I entered 3 Ultra Trails in 2019, called the Grand Slam of trails- probably over 200km of trail- and it was my first year of trail running. That same year I even ran my first road marathon.

And what that time gave me, more than anything, was friendships. I met a great bunch of girls (and a couple guys) who healed my heart. And I am so grateful to each and every one of you. You will never know what you carried me through without even knowing. We ran up mountains together, braved the early mornings, even in the dark. We chatted, and laughed and encouraged one another.

But in that time I also reconnected with older friends (not in age- but rather in length of time I have known them).

One such person, was this magic human here.

We have shared lots of deep chats about our lives. I respect and value her opinion and advice. She has been so KIND to me. Always kind to me. From the first time I met her some 11/12 years ago, til this day- even up a mountain running 50km with me, while I grumbled pretty much the whole way! And we have laughed together. Especially the last few months. She is always encouraging, always sees the best in things. And that’s just the kind of human she is. Deeply invested in others, she always sees the good before the bad, she is brave and strong, and so flipping funny.

Also, she’s an amazing business woman, and founder and owner of Scoop Handmade Ice-cream.


And now, we have immigrated from South Africa. And I feel I’ve lost my friends all over again. I mean, I realise that’s just me being emotional, and the difference now is simply the distance rather than anything else- so while at least I do not feel a sense of rejection- I am sad that I won’t get to hang out with these people who healed my heart, and simply accepted me for the person I am- flaws and all.

So what I want to say to you, is find people who like you for you. Who hang out. Who send millions of text messages. Who encourage you when you feel you can’t face the mountain (both figuratively and literally), who laugh with you, who like you- even your flaws. And then sew into those friendships.

I wish I’d had more time: more time with these beautiful people, more time to spend with them, getting to know them and letting them know me. I am grateful that some of those friends have also emigrated to the UK, and that a few of my friends I know I will see in the following year as they will be visiting (provided Covid behaves!).

But I also hope and pray that I can find people here to equally fill my heart with joy. And that my friends back home know how very loved, and cherished they are. To all those times we ran mountains, high and low- the road runs, the suppers, the wine, the tea dates, the long-never-ending runs, the thoughtful messages, the trusting me, whether its in your business, or in your confiding in me, and allowing me to confide in you. Thank you for it all. I’m so grateful. So so grateful. for the very happy few years we’ve had, and for helping to heal my very sore heart. You’re all truly like gold to me.

And, well, here’s more of my wonderful friend Amanda

Because, well, why not? (Also, apparently, while I am a fantastic photographer at taking the peoples photographs, I’m not very good at documenting mine- at least, not with my “big-boy” camera).

caversham, family photographer, london, photography, reading, uk
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