Thursday, 18 April 2013

Old Friends

As you know the last 5 weeks have been extremely quiet here as I recuperate. It has been appreciated to have friends around when you are down in the mouth and if you're like me predisposed to self pity. Unfortunately I haven't been great company lately but I'm certainly well on the mend and feeling better every day. Hopefully I might even be able to walk unassisted within the week.

I've digressed! Tonight I have been invited by a friend to a dinner put on by the Whirlwind group that fosters brotherhood amongst those who suffer from mental illness or maybe recovering from a break up or dealing with hard times. I'm really looking forward to it!

On the theme of friendship I recently met up with an old school friend that I've known since the age of 10. We have been friends ever since.

We had a beer together in the University part of Dunedin where we both grew up. We discussed our school days, in and out of friendships, sporting successes and failures, old girlfriends, what's happened to some of those we grew up with and our recent dentistry. This was all over shooting some pool in which I was luckily victorious and he was gracious in defeat. We talked about favourite teachers and not so favourite.

Here are the lyrics of a song I wrote on Friendship. Unfortunately could not download the video!

School Age Friendship

Respect each others' rights to be
Able to choose as they please
You'll find that course can sometimes be
A source of pleasure and being free

School age friendships come and go
For reasons often not well known

Fighting over what to do
Where to play... and with who
Trying to be the one
Needing a chance to have some fun


Listening to one another's ideas
Willingness to give and share
Be yourself and show you care
A person to be liked and near


Teachers trying to keep the peace
As children hassle...taunt and tease
Sorting out who's right and wrong
Frustrations high...what can be done


I believe the strength of the friendship is largely in the length of time and common experiences. It's reassuring that you can have a friendship that survives through quite seperate and different lives.

I wrote a song that expressed my special close friendship with Lea that many of you would know became quite a lot more. A few of you may have heard it before! It's called Empty Vessel. Sorry only have the chorus lyrics.

An Empty Vessel I am for you
I'm all yours what you choose to do
Would love to hear any long term friendship stories. Can you beat 43 years? I know some of you would be disadvantaged by age in answering that question. You have youth on your side!


  1. Hi Paul! I'm sorry that you have been going through such a difficult time! I hope that you are walking, walking solo very soon! Two of my longest and best friends in my life (outside my husband and my siblings) both died too soon, and I miss them every day. But I always feel that they are near. I have another wonderful friend who volunteered in my classroom every year I taught (25 years). I am still fortunate to have her very much in my life. I don't have a ton of friends, but I have very special ones. I've reconnected with Ron (Sophie) whom I met almost 50 years ago! He's becoming pretty special! Feel better soon!

  2. Hi Paul! You somehow manage to sound fairly cheerful despite the inactivity. Still feel bad for you! That's interesting to see a friend you've know since age 10.

    :-) Marion

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I couldn't beat 43 years, though I am 24

  4. Hi Paul,
    Happy to hear you are mending daily, lots to look forwards to, I bet that you won't stop running the first chance you get to go out! Friendship is really important and I hope you had a good evening out.
    Wishing you and Lea, a good weekend.

  5. Glad to hear you are recovering Paul I know it must be hard for you not to want to jump run bike and move around but you are doing it and all will be back to normal soon "chin up" as my Grampa used to say.
    I have had a friend from school since we were five we are now 60 so I guess I beat you we talk regularly and see each other occasionally yes it never grows old.
    Love your songs. B

  6. Gosh! I thought I commented earlier, but I guess not. Weird. I wanted to say I do have elementary school friends that I still hang out with. That's around 55 years. My husband is my best friend and we've been married 40 years now. Oh... and then there's my brother who was my friend first. He's been my true blue friend for 60 years so he should be first.

  7. I'm so glad to hear how you connected with your old friend. My best friend from high school lives on the other side of the country. After I moved to Wisconsin, we didn't see each other for 17 years. Now we try to get together every few years, but in general we lead completely separate lives, only occasionally communicating through Facebook. But whenever we do get together we pick up right where we left off. The old intimacy has never died - it has only deepened. (I know that I can tell her anything at all, and receive a supportive, encouraging response.) We are planning a get-together this October and it will be as though we were never apart. A friendship like this is such a blessing.

    Oh - you wanted a time figure - I've known her for for 35 years. :)