Monday, May 19, 2008

Friends are diamonds, and diamonds are...

Friday was my last day at the office, where I had pleasant farewells, a card and gift. I left half an hour after I meant to simply because you keep finding one more thing you were working on and didn't finish, to pass on. Plus people want to hear what you'll be up to, so they stop you for a chat or come by your desk. I got hardly anything done, but they said that was alright.

Finally tore myself away, forgot to hand in my access card, and asked the front desk to let me out not knowing it was in my bag.

Once out on the street, I felt dazed. I couldn't believe I wasn't going back. Now, if this is how I feel after working there for only a few months, imagine when I leave somewhere after a few years.

Then I went off to my oldest/bestest friend's house to see Lydia, her Mum, twin brother, and Dad. Their house, let me tell you, is a little gem. It's so pretty and so cute. Every room is spotless, tastefully decorated, and the walls emanate peace and love. I even went to the loo and didn't want to leave!

After a couple of hours of chatting and giggling, we went to meet our mutual friend Angela. It was a triple celebration - Lydia's new project at the BBC, Angela's completion of her child studies course, and my farewell. Despite being old friends, Lyds and I gradually lost touch with Angela after she married and had her two kids. Last year for my birthday, Angela and I met up for the first time in a decade. Yes, it took me an entire year to manage this meetup since in the last year Lyds has been touring all over, studying a short course, and sometimes working 7 days a week, and Angela has been studying full time and bringing up her boys, one of whom was diagnosed with epilepsy earlier this year (it is thankfully under control after a trying few months).

Both their lives have settled down now, and ironically just when I leave Lydia gets a job a couple of stops from where I was working, and on the same 10am - 6pm schedule as I was on! What can you do...???

Anyway, we three girls ate yummy Thai food, were the last out of the restaurant, and when we left they gave us each a carnation wrapped in cellophane and finished with a curly ribbon. At one point I tuned out of the conversation, watching Lyds and Ange chatting away, and I felt sad that we hadn't been able to do this more often. But once again, what can you do???

Tomorrow I am going to Lydia's house again for some of her Mum's gorgeous Greek food. I've known this lovely family for nearly as long as my own. I don't even remember meeting Lydia, but it was at nursery so we may have been 2 or 3. I'm just as close with her brother Anthony. They call me "the other sibling". And so I call their mum Aunty, or Thia in Greek. Whenever my Mum went to hospital (she nearly died in the mid-80s), Thia would come and pack a bag and take me away, and the twins, being artistic, would create lovely hand drawn get well cards. Lyds and I would be afraid of the dark together, and we both remember the one night we imagined we saw a pair of red eyes in the halway. (Brrrr, just thinking of it gives me goosebumps.) Then Dad would pick me up when Mum was discharged, but I never wanted to go back home. I would sulk for the rest of the day. I now realise this wasn't fair on my poor Mumsy.

After nursery, Angela joined our school. Lydia and Angela and I were close. Other girls came and went, but it was always us. But Lyds and I were the core, inseperable. The teachers usually muddled our names up in class, and we even started ballet together. Still, undergoing the usual social development, we three would "break up and make up" in various combinations. Then we would pass "love notes" in class: "Are you still my freind?" (Angela always switched the i and e.) Lydia swears I came up with the idea of Yes and No boxes. Of course they always ticked the Yes box.

Here are the twins at my birthday celebration last year:

Alors, je suis finis. Would you believe I started this post with nothing to say?


Jo said...

Oh, Liv! I hope you have fun making new friends, too!

Mark said...

Afraid that it doesn't get any easier as you get older - parting from friends and colleagues. Anyway, good luck in your next assignment!

Christopher said...

Dahling! He is a tasty slice the gentleman above!

Hello,it's Kissy in Hollywood...

Been hoping your health and your run arounds with doctors, hasn't gotten you down!

Friends being like diamonds? Thats got to be one of the sweetest analogies!xo

Selba said...

I remember your b'day post last year, so nice :)

Congrats...You are free now! No more actions like "The Devil Wears Prada" hehehe....

Olivia said...

Jo - yes, and more old friends to catch up with!


Mark - in the end we said see you later, NOT goodbye. That felt much better :)


Kissy - he's even cuter now since he's lost a little weight (studying medicine too hard).

I haven't been to the doc is a couple of weeks so that's it. They'll never give me my echocardiogram results before I leave.

How's it going in your new place?


Selby - hehe, it wasn't quite that a dramatic feeling. I didn't even feel like when school is over!

Anonymous said...

What a sweet sweet post, Olivia, as you say your final goodbyes.

Um Naief said...

love these pics. all of you look radiant, especially you.

the twin and you look like a couple... you guys look so much alike. very nice photo.

i have two girlfriends like this. we met in high school. they have their own lives now and we haven't seen one another in years, but when we email, it's as though nothing has changed. i still feel that bond w/ them. i'd say they are my true friends.

your post feels me a longing to see them.

it's weird because they both had children a lot earlier than me. some 15 years ago really, so for me to be having a baby and being able to interact w/ them on that level... it gives a nice, new dimension to our friendships.

Olivia said...

Um Naief - thank you for coming by to catch up.

Even I can't believe how happy I look there, but those two always made me laugh and feel happy.

Odd fact. They are 100% Greek Cypriot, and I am only one quarter...My other 3/4 is so mixed. And yet, as you say, we look alike.

Now for you, something I did not include in the other post, which is that Anthony was my first love from age 17-21 but he didn't know, and when I finally told him he said he loved me like a sister and my confession wouldn't lessen his esteem. Which was lovely really.

Jo said...

I didn't know you were 1/4 Greek! Me, too!

Um Naief said...

that is lovely.


if i hadn't known otherwise, i would have thought exactly the opposite.

i think that that 1/4 Greek is some strong ass blood! most interesting how some genes are so strong whereas some, that you'd think would be strong, are not.

w/ all of this said... i love the pics and think they are some of my most favorite of you.

Um Naief said...

in looking at the photo again... he seems very gentle, has caring eyes and looks like someone that would be very protective of you.

i love these new glasses - the rectangle... they're very popular in this part of the world as well.