I’m not particularly into New Year’s Resolutions: they’re either so huge that they are destined to fail within weeks, or so amorphous you promptly forget about them.
But last year I did make one promise to myself: to make time to see more of my friends. Since I started running my own business, weekdays and weekends have blended into one. With no children or husband making demands on my time work tends to take over. Not that I always see it as such: I love my job, and writing and photography rarely seem like a chore (even if I’m still bad with deadlines). But, regardless, it means that I am often to be found at my laptop on Saturday and Sunday.
It’s easier if one is introverted to just hole up under the duvet at weekends, and read, write and eat. I was starting to feel like an island entire of itself.
So did I keep my promise? Well, yes, I actually did. I was talking about this with Ayla yesterday as I helped her move some stuff around London in a ZipVan I had hired for the morning. I really feel like I’ve got this one sorted.
I’m going out more to the theatre and to concerts – Clare bought us tickets for The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells (go, it’s brilliant) on Thursday night for my birthday and, speaking of which, I actually celebrated it this year. Four times, in fact, if we count the ballet. On Sunday last, Chloe, Anne, Holly and I met up at Columbia Road to buy armfuls of roses, and our Christmas wreaths, before birthday brunching at Shoreditch House. Then it was off to the pub in Highgate in the evening for my birthday supper with Emma R, Ayla, Tara, Clare, Rach and Lettice (of course) for food and love.
I’m also trying to make weekends sacrosanct – dedicated to friends, family and dogs. If I have an event to attend, then I usually only if I can have a plus one –for example, Liz and I took an epic journey with our friends at Laurent-Perrier on the Belmond Pullman train a few weekends back.
Of course, it helps having a Lettice to hang out with – as I and my girlfriends get older we all know we should take exercise as often as possible, and a dog walk is a particularly pleasurable way of combing health and friendship. Each weekend I take at least one long walk across Hampstead Heath and/or Regent’s Park, preferably two, and I am never alone for these.
On Saturday Chloe and I bought seats at the Generation X benefit lunch at The Groucho to raise much-needed funds for Medecins Sans Frontieres (you may know them as Doctors Without Borders). Two of my friends have been aid workers for them, and I know important their work in Syria is to the refugees there. The lunch reminded me how fortunate we are in general, and how fortunate I am, in particular to be surrounded by people who I love, and who love me.