Faraway Friends

This morning I had a long chat via  Facebook chat with someone I have never met in person, faraway in England. We first encountered each other many years ago using a file sharing programme called WinMX.  It was through her and one or two other folk devotees like myself, that I was able to catch up on the music that is so hard to obtain in NZ and we even exchanged discs by mail, when the file sharing was going too slow.  I did that with a couple of people when both of us had plenty the other wanted.  

When Lynne and I first "met" she was in Greece using the pseudonym Layla, and I was known only as Babbacombe Lee, a dead giveaway to my musical tastes and my sense of humour. This blog started out as "thrice hanged" before I changed it after the son of a friend hanged himself.  We had a lot in common musically, and became cyber friends, but never shared much personal information until facebook.came along.  Even then, not all that much. I was never interested of course in chatting anyone up, and I still am not, but today we talked a little more than usual, learned a little more about each other, and it made me realise how important social interaction is, especially for one in my circumstances, far away from home and those I love.  

I have been here almost a year now. I arrived on the 26th of this month in 2009.  i suspect i am not getting enough social interaction, even for me, who  can be satisfied with very little.

Some statistics for the last year period:  Number of people who have visited my home(s) – 8. Three of them helped me move in to this apartment, and I am counting that, as we shared beer.  Number who visited more than once – 3  (Not counting Chelsea who stayed for a while between flats but including cuzzies from Solomon Islands who were attending USP last year).  Number of homes I have been invited to -3 . Number of visits made to other peoples’ homes – 3.  Number of times I have been out socially with a group of others – 5,  including two evenings with Dave and Renee from NZ after our meetings, excluding the day trip to Nukulau  (photos here on Facebook), which was after all, a works outing and does not count. 

Now, this is not a whinge and whine.  merely a comment on my observations.  I have not really thought about it much until today, so it is no big deal.  Though I love to have family and friends around me, I am content with my own company most of the time.  I chat with my girls comfortably about nothing for a long time on Skype.  Chatted long in that vein with Lynne today on various subjects centred around music.  She has met and had conversations with people I know of, from folk groups such as Fairport Convention, that I would love to hear live.  That’s cool.  She introduced me to the songs of Vin Garbutt, a neighbour of hers,and a very interesting and amusing charcter.  But I digress again.

I realised that I have in fact very few close friends, and of those few, I have made very few indeed since my school days.  I have plenty of friends mind.  Count them on Facebook: As of today, 99, not counting Eric the Duck who is, of course, me.  But how many can I call for help at 2AM? 

No one is alone who has one such, and I have more.

About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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