Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Friends - Friends old, friends new, friends borrowed and Cupcakes!!

A bit of a cryptic title I realise........  Let me explain

Years ago, a lot longer than I care to remember, I was employed as a nanny to look after an 8 month old girl as her mum was running a very busy, stressful cafe business in Totnes, Devon.  Sounds simple - however I was 19/20 years old, did not really know what I was doing and just winged it, like you do when you are young and desperately needed a job!!

Funny thing was that within a week I was smitten, Melody was a lovely child, happy, smiling and really fun.  She was not walking, still on bottles and a nap during the day but I coped.  I gradually got more and more into the role, began to love her mum as much as her and before I knew it I had a life long friend, I have probably known and trusted her mum Gill as a dear friend longer than anyone I know.  The three of us did a lot together including going on a very memorable holiday to Morocco - Mels was not walking, had two mums running around after her, a pool, scrambled eggs for breakfast and sun - what more could a little girl want?

Gill and I had quite a lot more to contend with, let me tell you.  Two women alone in Morocco on a package holiday in a dodgy Tangiers hotel on our own......  say no more!

Well we survived.  I used to take Mels swimming to the local pool in Totnes almost every day, swimming was my thing, I loved it and I was determined she would love it too.  She was great, I got so sick of people telling me how my baby looked just like me that I stopped bothering to tell them that she wasnt mine, she did look like me, dark hair, tall, etc. I sometimes forgot she wasnt mine!!  (sorry Gill) we had such fun together.  I even  photographed her on the Dartington Hall donkey (if you know Dartington Gardens, Totnes, Devon you will know exactly where I mean).  Every child born in the area just HAS to have their photo taken on the donkey.  I have one of myself, aged the same as Mels (about 10 months) and have one of both my own children too (we still have to get a picture of Lola on it).  Here she is:

Mels on the donkey with Ish

Time moved on and so did we all, Gill eventually did not need a nanny any more but we still stayed friends.  Our friendship grew and changed over time, one of those strange things where two women share stories, loves, battles and bottles of wine late into the night, secrets never to be repeated, horrid times, hard times, laughs, fun and unimaginable joy.  I lived with her for a while when I split up from a long term relationship, we tried out different kinds of life when she and her husband split, had a household full of women at one point - what fun that was!, parties, different guys, lots of music and dancing.

Gill then settled with Steve, husband, lover and father to her two subsequent kids.  As all relationships change so did ours, we had our kids, drifted apart, but came together again when we needed to.  She saved me when I suffered an awful divorce and I hope I was there for her when she needed me over the years (though not as often as I - and probably she - would like).  Anyway we are still friends - still love each other - still enjoy making and creating and bouncing ideas off each other when we can make time to do it. 

To cut a long story short, and the whole point of this blog - my lovely first baby is now 28 and getting married! I spent yesterday down in Totnes with them all, Gill and my first baby Melody, my real first baby Aimee and her first baby (my lovely granddaughter Lola) - Are you confused yet? all having a wonderful day, making cupcakes for the wedding cake!!  How totally fabulous is that?

There are a very few times in life when you get a brief, clear and warm realisation why we are here on this planet, why we do what we do and why we keep hold of those who are so dear to us despite changing lives, changing times, moving house and the rest of it.

So here I send my best wishes to my very first baby Melody, her husband to be Sam, her kids, the whole family and most of all MY FRIENDS.  Thank you all for being there when I needed you, I hope I can do the same whenever you need it and I hope our families can carry on the bond.  I am so looking forward to being with you all on your special day this Saturday.

And most of all thanks to you Mels, putting up with me practicing being a mum on you!!

Me and Melody XX
Remember your friends - they are always there for you and always special.


  1. What a lovely post! Hope you all have a wonderful time at the wedding (and those cakse look heavenly) xx

  2. I loved your story of true lasting friendship. Thanks for sharing. xo Jen