A Fool’s Gold

The Flashback Track Friday Prompt graphic

This is my response to this week’s Flashback Track Friday prompt, where we were asked:

Tell us about best friends.

I already posted a musical response to this question, which you can hear if you follow the link, but decided to post on my own blog because, thinking about the question, this is one of those instances where what I believe in theory might well be different to what has happened in practise.

I like to think that the notion of “best friend” is a childhood thing. I automatically associate it with being six or seven years old. Something we grow out of.

But I can’t help remembering that as a student (aged about 20, living in Cardiff) I bonded with one chap more than any other. Stayed bosom buddies throughout the three years of our degree courses. Girls and relationships were all relatively new territory for us both and we probably lived twenty years in those three. And this guy and I were there to support each other throughout. We stayed loosely in touch until a few years ago.

At the time of my first job (early twenties, living in Oxford), I had a strong connection with a housemate. Looking back, I was more friendly with her than with anybody else at that time. Later on, our respective children played together and we are still in touch today.

After she moved to continue her studies in France, I started going out more, became pally with one guy in particular. I don’t think either of us would have bought into any “best friend” crap, but nevertheless we did end up going out pubbing/clubbing together three or four nights per week, went round to each other’s houses, got to know each other’s girlfriends etc.

Later, long after I was married even (in my forties, living in Wiltshire now), I was a consultant. Had a client I worked with for ten years up in London. Considering these gigs are generally short-term, it was remarkable. In that time I got to work closely with one of the client’s people. We first clicked because he was just about the most switched-on person they had. It ended spilling over beyond work, we ended up enjoying lunch together most days, chatting about each other’s wives and families… Our two families even met up at weekends a few times, and we went to their wedding maybe ten or twelve years ago.

Last of all, before my stroke I was an active cyclist. I was extra-fit and super-slim. Did hundred-mile rides. Since the stroke, I can’t ride. Don’t have the balance. All the friends I had through cycling miraculously melted away. Except one chap. It just so happens we met up yesterday for brunch. He rode out to the cafe in the centre of my village, though I had to walk there.

So despite never really buying into “best friends”, maybe I’ve had them all along?


  1. Maybe. The idea of a “bestie” girlfriend is from tv, I think. Or it doesn’t work past school days anyway. Most of us are too busy to constantly hang out, gossip, grab a coffee whenever the mood hits and go shopping for hours. We work, we have families and chores, and mostly we don’t live close by now!


  2. I think best is very subjective
    My closest and longest known girlfriend is from college 37 years ago. We always seem to pick up where we left off. My closest friend now lives in Wales and I hope to meet up with her next Spring if all goes well. It sounds like each of these people held memories for you of the best kind 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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