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Friends reunited

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This month I will be celebrating 30 years of friendship. It is an equally balanced friendship where she has always looked up to me.

As she is a mere 4ft 2in.

Having met at college when we were young and optimistic we bonded over the fact that both our fathers were members of the clergy.

It is a club that only those who are born into it understand. Having both been bullied for the differences that a parent’s job can signify to others, we had a mutual understanding.

Therefore we set up our own club, just the two of us. She is the chief exec and I am the treasurer.

It is not a friendship I take for granted, and it has been worth every penny to pay her to say she is my friend. I jest. She’s asked for a refund.

After having met at that tender teenage time with tears over boys and going to McDonald’s, not a lot has changed.

I accept that she is competitive at board games and snorts when she laughs. She accepts my total unreliability, never turning up on time and laughing until I cry.

It is a lifelong friendship that I am very proud to have achieved and managed to keep.

Autumn is the time many of us have our chimney swept and I said to her on the phone, guess what my chimney sweep is called. “Dick?”

Which is, I suppose, a reasonable answer if you’ve seen Mary Poppins.

However, it did take me a bit unawares and, regressing to our childish humour that cemented us as pals in the first place, I could not stop laughing.

So with her snorting and my hysterics I managed to tell her, no, he is actually called Ash.

And in a way, I doubt it was a surprise to Ash’s parents when he did eventually become a chimney sweep, because with a name like that what did they expect him to do?

A friendship group is available in Hunstanton who meet on Fridays. It is a way for people who may be feeling lonely and isolated to connect, to have a cup of tea and feel valued.

Friendship is a gift, and can be a major difference to people’s lives to be offered the hand of friendship.

OK, maybe I have this Friday feeling today where I am about to break into the song ‘You got a friend in me’, but it does make a difference in life to have good friends.

Maybe it would be more apt to quote the lyrics of Dick Van Dyke that when it comes to friends, this Beake is as lucky as lucky can be.

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