It was good to hear from my old friend, Malcolm, by email the other day. And it was even better to hear that his plans for his retirement are well-advanced and on target. I should imagine that Easter cannot come quickly enough.
It's one of the strange things about emigrating and leaving friends behind. On the one hand I miss friends in the UK but conversely those friends who really want to remain friends make the effort to book a flight and come and see us. I don't even have a valid passport (although I must do something about that in case of emergency) and don't envisage a return to the UK. It's too cold and wet, and the way the country has changed in the last few years makes it an unappealing place to visit or live. Of course, my friends could argue that - if I wanted to see them - I could book a flight. But hey! This is my blog.
Friends blow hot and cold in Cyprus and in the UK. I think the ideal is that each takes the effort to stay in touch and suggest going out, or popping round, or just catching up by email, Skype or telephone. I think one of the things that irritates me is that some friends (Ann has one particular friend) who never make the first move. When you contact them, then all is well but it makes you wonder. We are not perfect in this regard, and we are catching up with good friends tomorrow for lunch - all because of a Facebook post which Ann made which featured a photograph of her great-grandson. To think I am sleeping with a great-grandmother. But I suppose that makes me an almost step great-grandfather. No ... that's a bridge too far.
We have been stuck in the house for the last few days, playing far too many computer games, listening to too much music on the radio, watching too much TV and cracking open a bottle too early in the afternoon. So it's great to be out in the open air for a change. Friends of ours decided to drink alcohol only at weekends and I salute them for their commitment. The only problem is that, on a Wednesday afternoon, I cannot ring and suggest going out for a beer. Perhaps all that will change when the Spring arrives.