Counting blessings…and catching up with a few!

It’s been a funny old few weeks here and we’ve seen our friends go through more than their share of upset and sadness. It’s been tough to get through, but some good has come from it all.

I had a sudden realisation that Rob and I had reached a point where we have a group of friends that we only get to see at weddings and funerals. Being that most of us are now married, the inevitability of only seeing those friends on sad occasions became crystal clear to us all at our last meeting – a funeral. We made familiar noises of  ‘We really must catch up…’, and ‘We ought to all get together for a meal sometime…’, then went our separate ways, as usual.

I came home, and wondered where the time had gone. It doesn’t seem so long ago that we were all meeting every weekend in the local pub and relaxing after a hard week at work. Then we all enjoyed each other’s weddings, arrival of babies and then the family life kicked in! Insidiously we all adopted routines, commitments to kids’ clubs and taxi duties and began to require baby sitters in order to go out. The logistics of four or five couples actually managing to make it out of the house together at the same time became a military operation and, besides, we were all TIRED! That was ten years ago, and we have all been busy with life and work and time has marched on, regardless.

When the group of friends met up last week we all realised that our kids are starting to become more ‘manageable’ – we can drop them off at Nan’s more readily, and they are happy to be away from us for an evening now! I came away feeling that, this time, we might manage to follow through our intentions of meeting up under happier circumstances.

I decided to start with a visit to an old friend who, like me, has moved from a busy career to a small personal concern, and has opened her own chocolate shop! I knew, through the grapevine, that this had happened around a year ago but I just hadn’t found the time to catch up. I called in a couple of days after the funeral, with the intention of popping my head in, buying some chocolates for my brother-in-law’s birthday, and making plans to meet again.

I was so impressed with the shop! It looks fantastic, and the range of chocolates and delights is amazing. There are also some lovely bespoke gifts, plus hampers for every taste, and I was full of ideas for potential Christmas presents – already! My friend welcomed me with a coffee – a vanilla cappuccino to be exact, which happens to be my most favourite. I sat down and we began chatting and the years of memories came flooding back. We stopped and started to accommodate customers as they came and went and, before I knew it, I looked at the lovely tin clock on the wall and realised I would have to leave to pick the kids up from school – we had managed to chat away for almost three hours!

Some things won’t change – I did have to curtail my visit to do Mum duties, but I came away feeling that I had made some time for me, and that I had started to find a way of fitting our friends back into the jigsaw of commitments that come with family life. Talking to my friend also made me feel that we had both made the right choices to leave our successful, rewarding careers to take on something  more personal and flexible for us, and our families. And it’s working for us both, which is even better 🙂

And, by the way, the chocolates were a big hit with the brother-in-law!

To enjoy a relaxing coffee and the most delicious chocolates please call and see Nicola at Carlson & Davies Fine Chocolates in Tickhill. You are in for a lovely visit!

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