NAILSWORTH: My train ride from Oxford to Stroud, the nearest station, included one change at Didcot Parkway. So I disembarked happily; and was left standing alone on the platform. Oops! I found a strange object saying HELP. I pressed “dial” and it rang, and rang, and rang. I glanced anxiously at my ticket which told me my train was departing in about 3 minutes. There were 2 trains at platforms other than mine. The HELP object continued ringing as I began to feel somewhat more anxious! The operator was all concern and sweetness when she answered and said, run for it, but I’ll let the conductor know you’re coming. So off I hobbled, with my giant 25kg suitcase, little suitcase and handbag! Down the lift, along the corridor, couldn’t see my WAY OUT at first. But finally went staggering up a very long ramp, regretting every item in the case! The conductor smiled broadly and helped me aboard, wishing me a pleasant journey. It was lovely! The countryside entranced me, especially the quaint villages we went through! We seemed to be travelling through a series of valleys and the views were lovely.

Finally, it was my stop! I approached the train door wondering where I would find Jax with all 8 carriages discharging passengers. Would you believe she was standing at the right spot, right at my door! It was wonderful to finally see her face to face and give her a big hug! We talked non-stop! It was as though I hadn’t seen her for a while and we were catching up like old friends do! Comfortable, natural and wonderful.

We took the scenic route to her home, stopping at Coaley Point to view the countryside all the way to the Severn! The farms and villages looked like miniatures. I couldn’t believe the vibrancy of the green! Or the multitudes of trees!

Arriving in Nailsworth was amazing! There were flags and bunting strung across the streets and from one building to the next. Cheering people lined the streets waving flags. I was told there was to be an open-topped bus with a brass-band oompahing soon. No, not for me, alas, but for Nailsworth’s very own 2 x Olympic Gold Medallist Ian Reed, a rower from Team GB. We decided to walk down and cheer along a little later. Jacky’s parents live over the road from the Town Hall where the Bus ended its tour. We saw the young Olympian close-up and we even made it on to BBC World News later that night! Exciting! Yes, wonderful and simply the best!

The other Minxes, and their hubbies, were invited for a fabulous dinner party that night. Jax pulled out all the stops and served up masses of fabulous food, wine and 2 really excellent puddings. We all laughed, and ate, and laughed, and drank, and laughed some more. I brought out the beautifully sequined, feathered and netted, bright red, mini-hats and the sparkling, jewel encrusted Minx brooches and issued my challenge: To Cardiff and the Minxes Roar Tour! Purple tops, red hats and minx brooches de rigueur! The hats and brooches were promptly donned in all their feathery finery and glittery glory, Then, because the boys felt awfully left-out and rather under-dressed, Jacky produced some wacky wigs which went down a treat! It was a magical, perfect night!

4 month old Miss Binky made us laugh even harder with her kittenish antics. She challenged herself to several circuits of the L-shaped sitting and dining room. Without touching the floor!! She was into everything, smelling the wine, attempting to taste it. Wanting the nibbles before and after dinner, sitting on everyone’s lap, so none were offended. Mandy is her favourite person in the whole world and she disappeared up Mandy’s trademark maxi dress a few times, amidst much squealing and giggling! She and Skye the Westie eventually curled up together in blissful sleep.

It was the most awesome night! I felt completely relaxed and at home. Certainly none of these people were “strangers”. Amazing since it was the first time I’d met any of them!

Sunday 16th September CHEZ BOBBY AND BETTY: NAILSWORTH: Jacky’s mom and dad graciously invited us to lunch at their home on Sunday. They live in a beautiful semi, with a magnificent, colourful garden. Another perfect day. The most excellent food, followed by an amazing Strawberry crumble and 3 kinds of cream! Oh very stuffed and extremely happy was this lady from Africa! How humbling and beautiful to be so readily and embracingly accepted into people’s homes and hearts. They are a very special bunch!



I met Lolly in Grade 1
in Ndola, Zambia

A few years later my family moved to South Africa
After my mom’s death, we moved back to Ndola
I went to a new school, the Convent
Lolly was now here too
So was Vonny, Allison, Julie, Joanne, Tricia, Terry Ann, Tina,  Allegra, Loredana, Julia, Sandy, Zen and others
At 15 I left again

Then came fb
New friends galore!
Our “Old School” friendships were renewed as a group!
The new and old became a mix
we don’t remember who introduced who
where they come into the “picture”

Now we’ve added Jacky and, Jackie, Julie and Julia, Joy, Rachael, Rie, Shirley, Margaret, Ansie, Donna, Liz, Jenny, Caitlyn and my Ma-Val
We’ve had reunions and meet-ups where possible
But share, care, laugh and cry regularly
Most of us communicate daily, certainly weekly or monthly

These are my Girls
My Ya Ya’s
My Minxes

I look at you
Then I look at me
Without my buddies
Where would I be?

My friends,
My sisters 
My shadows
My world
Where would I be without my Girls? 

Giggles and tears
Smiles and laughs
Late night texts and photographs
We’ll be together until our last day
Best Girlies forever
just wont fade away

I love you all!


Friendship Poem

Friends do things for one another.
They understand.
They go a million miles out of their way.
They hold your hand.
They bring you smiles, when a smile is exactly what you needed.
They listen, and they hear what is said in the spaces between the words.
They care. And they let you know you’re in their prayers.

Friends always know the perfect thing to do.
They can make your whole day, just by saying something no one else could have said.
Sometimes you feels like the two of you share a secret language that others can’t tune into.

A friend can guide you, inspire you, comfort you, or light up your life with laughter.
A friend understands your moods and nurtures your needs.
A friend lovingly knows just what you’re after.

When your feelings come from deep inside,
and they need to be spoken to someone you don’t have to hide from,
you share them …
with a friend.
When good news comes, a friend is the first one your turn to.
When feelings overflow and tears need to fall,
friends help you through it all.

Friends bring sunlight into your life.
They warm your life with their presence,
whether they are far away or close to your side.
A friend is a gift that brings happiness, and a treasure that money can’t buy.

Collin McCarty

I have the greatest, most loving, closest group of friends I could want

I can’t wait for some of us to get together in Sept for a group hug!

 Bless you