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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Mum on the Run - With her friends!



There are certain things in life that make us nostalgic and these things provide us with comfort.  It may be hearing a tune on the radio that reminded us of our school discos, the smell of a perfume that our Grandma used to wear, or visiting a familiar holiday destination from when we were young. 

For me, recounting stories to our children of what I got up to with my friends when I was at school is a great way of re-living my memories and remembering the fun times that I had with them - well, other than when the children ask me whether electricity had been invented when I was a child and then I am just indignant! 

There was the incident at school when the picture that I had drawn of a certain part of the male anatomy was held up by one of my friends to show to the class.  Drawing never was my strong point but at least the class found it funny.   Or the time that my friend and I were cycling to school and, as a result of laughing so much, she ended up nearly falling off her bike only saving herself by discarding the chocolate bar that she was eating over her shoulder, and in turn over a hedge, into someone's garden.  Why we were eating chocolate bars at 8.30 am escapes me now but we will always share that memory.  Those moments of closeness, laughing so much that your sides ache, must have positive health benefits of that I am sure. What I am not so sure though about the RSI I received as a result of writing lines because I was laughing with my friends, rather than concentrating. 

Nivea are marking their 100th birthday with a celebration of closeness in modern Britain, entitled "A Million Moments of Closeness".   Their aim is to literally capture "A Million Moments of Closeness".  You can join in NIVEA’s celebration by uploading photographs of you with a friend, sibling, partner, parent or child at facebook.com/niveauk, or you can look out for their road shows, throughout the UK, where you can jump into a photo booth and have your picture instantly uploaded. You can also pick up free goodies if you attend the roadshow events.

As part of their campaign, Nivea have enlisted the help of Professor Beattie, a psychologist, for expert advice on tips for making friends as adults. These tips include sharing a secret with someone, paying attention to what people are saying and never saying "Nice".  In context I think that "Nice" can be a good word to use.  I got chatting to one of my now closest friends by use of the word "Nice" as in "Nice bag!"  We then went on to discover that we had the same forenames, year of birth, number of children, occupations and we were both left handed.  OK, so that's not why we are friends, our love of cakes, running and her ability to crack me up help in that department but the word "Nice" definitely featured as an opening to our friendship.  

Whether you share your pictures on Facebook or at the roadshow, at the end of each day, Professor Beattie will choose his favourite picture and the winner will receive one of 100 prizes worth £100.

As for making new friends as an adult - is it harder?  I can't say that I have noticed that it is but everyone is different.  Some people have, and need to have, lots of friends.  Others have one or two close friends and that is all.  What I am sure of though is that we all derive huge benefits from our friendships and with families often fractured by distance, friends have, it is said, become "the new family."  However what I have noticed is that modern technology has changed how we conduct our friendships.  How did we ever manage at University to make an arrangement for the following week and not change it? No mobiles, no texts, no being late.  We had to stick to it. 

An old University friend and I have recently got back in touch after many years and we decided to do something that was special to our friendship as we knew it whilst at University.  So, the way that we stay in contact is by writing to one another - sending cards and letters when we can.  We are both busy and it doesn't happen as often as we would like but there's something lovely about opening the door after a long day at work and seeing her familiar handwriting on a card on the mat.  I wait until the children are in bed and then curl up and savour reading each and every word, then putting the card on the mantle piece for a few weeks before filing it away in a memory box.  Can a text or an email compete with that?  I don't think so.  Sure, texts and emails have their place in modern day life and for those with family and friends abroad, Skype is fantastic - but for those friends for whom you would drop everything in a crisis, hearing their voice in a telephone call, see their writing in a letter and even better, seeing them face to face, if only once a year, is something to be treasured above all else.   

  


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