Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Old acquaintances

Christmas cards might seem like an old-fashioned habit in this electronic age, but for me they are a wonderful reminder of my ecclectic mix of friends scattered all over the world. At the end of each year I find myself remembering old aquaintances, fun times and past kindnesses.

One person on the Christmas card list is my dear friend from Germany who plans to visit me in March. We met by chance in a hostel in France ten years ago where she, having only just met me, bravely offered me a place to stay in her student room in Germany. I, feeling just as brave, accepted. Following a hilarious evening of cooking pasta together, giggling about the phrase "Ich bin gluklich" and finally falling asleep on the floor, we embarked on a friendship that has seen us meet up in Germany, Australia, Switzerland, and now Australia again.

Another is a dear friend and previous flatmate and colleauge from London who reminds me of sharing a bunk bed in a small 2-bedroom flat with a woman and her son, two cats and a couple of fish. We have since met up again in England, France and Australia. My colleagues from Geneva are still very much in my life and call up from time to time and send cheeky emails - it's so nice to hear their voices and remember a life that already seems like a long time ago.

Of course, this time I am feeling particularly sentimental, as a good friend of more than a decade died earlier this year. It's difficult to accept that he will never be around again, but also nice to be able to remember the good times and give thanks for the happy memories. My New Year's resolution is to be thankful for all the friends that I do still have, and to live each day as fully as I can.

Photos - Top: Annette and I in Zurich, Switzerland. Bottom: Aziza and I in Annecy, France.

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