I have some pretty amazing friends in my life. By far the strongest group of friends my life has been blessed with came from my time at Mayfield Primary school. I had no idea quite how much getting at job at Mayfield would change my life but change it it did. In many ways.  However, the nine women that came together as a result of that job are the strongest, most powerful group of women my life has ever been blessed with. All our times together were and still are wonderful and as a unit we are pretty epic! For 13 years now, I’ve been surrounded by this strong group of friends who have in addition to making life a whole lot of fun, impress me all the time. Over and over again I find myself proud to know these stunning, kind, genuine souls I know and all the things they accomplish.
When we first met, we got to know each other because we worked together. We soon became firm friends that meditated together and became known as “The Crystal Crew” but eventually we rebranded ourselves as the “Dining Divas” because once a month we would dine in fabulous places, drink, belly laugh and do all the things friends do best. Over the years, some of us got new jobs, got married and had lots of babies. Between us we have celebrated every decade from a 30th to 60th and two retirements. Some of us have been through the hardest times of our lives. Death, miscarriages, break ups and make ups, coming out and Cancer diagnosis’ of selves, partners or children. There is nothing that as a group of friends we haven’t been through. Been through, but most importantly supported each other through.

Three years ago, three of us were to geographically part the Dining Divas. I was leaving Lytham to move back to Manchester. Alison’s husband had got a job in Germany and Lou had decided to embark on a huge adventure to go and teach in Doha for a year.
These three moves out of a group of nine wonderful women were always going to change the dynamic of a group. Keeping in touch wasn’t going to be easy especially when some are better at that than others. Whether that’s because of busy work and social lives or simply because some can’t be bothered quite as much as others. Either way, it’s life and we didn’t know what moving would do to the friendship unit. Thank the good world for FaceTime and Skype. Because of this, we have been able to keep the unit as close and together as humanly possible. Some of us were determined to. That is testament to our fabulous, 13 year friendship. We have even been out for meals and had an iPad on the table to include one or the other of us able to join in via FaceTime.
There is however a main point of this Blog. It is not to champion my friendship with my Dining Divas. I am sure we could all do that in our own way about our own individual groups of friends. This Blog though is to rather champion just one of us.
Out of all three moves three years ago, I thought one was the bravest of all. Lou’s move to Doha took courage like I have never known. To move alone to a country a six hour flight away in order to go and teach in a school that you have never visited or seen and where things were so very different to here in Britain was so brave. I knew Lou’s reason for this adventure. I admire her for doing it and sticking to her guns and not only for one year as originally planned but for three. Embarking on a move to a new country that you have never visited knowing that there will only be the wonder of technology and 2 trips home a year to keep you close to those that you love and being totally cut off from all that you know must have been one of the most daunting experiences anyone can face. However, face it she did and she has come out the other side a better human for it. My complete and utter admiration Lou, cannot truly be put into words. I am immensely proud of all you have achieved in going abroad to teach. I know it’s not all been easy but I also I know you’ve made amazing memories and friends. You have achieved your goal and now your dreams can come true!

Now though, you have one last adventure to go on. Have the time of your life and then it really is time to come home to us so we can carry on partying like rock stars. Manchester and all its glorious cocktail bars and indeed your Divas are ready for you!!! We have more memories to make, there is an epic wedding to be celebrated, babies to come and complete and utter joy to be shared and that is just for starters. Lets do it!!

Gill, Rachel, Lou, Alison, Lynda, Karen, Lucy and Karen you will always have a corner of my heart. Love.

“True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance but never in heart”

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