It’s a calm evening on the French Riviera this evening as a boat finds it’s way to port.   I am back from a wee sojourn to Dublin in the east of Ireland and Galway in the west.  A lot of grey skies,  then some blue sky and sunshine to remind you it’s there, despite the clouds.   Ireland is about people; friends and family celebrating despite all the dismal news you hear about the state of the economy etc.

It’s day 27 and I have had no coffee!   I abstained each day, whilst I was very aware of the old coffee mind sulking away in the background….why are you doing this to me….why kill a great habit…. etc.
And onwards I went from breakfast, to lunch to supper with only water in between….

On my way back to France this morning, I started to think about how fortunate I am for all the wonderful people I have in my life.   Whatever age you are you have invested; time, love, caring, laughter, anger, happiness, joy and lots of other emotions and thoughts about the people in your life.   The people you know best or/and have spent the most time with, are the ones you share your life with; those that know what is happening in your life on a daily or weekly basis.  You can only give so much of the 100% of your day/night to a few people, usually they are those closest to you; your children, your spouse, your partner, your lover, your blood family, and friends etc.   For some they give most of their time to their work colleagues and they top and tail their day with their nearest and dearest.   Yet there are many many other people that pop in and out of your life as you age from day to day.   Perhaps this week you could list all the people in your life from the past to the present, that are still important to you;  assess how you relate to them, how you care for them, how you think of them, how you feel about them, how you value them, how you communicate with them etc.
Sometimes we take those who care about us most for granted and visa versa.
Think about that for the evening and we can begin to explore friendship over the next few days.
Try wearing your smile while you do this exercise and see what effect it has on you…..

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. – Anais Nin
One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.  – Margaret Mead
If it’s very painful for you to criticize your friends – you’re safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that’s the time to hold your tongue.  – Alice Miller
Nobody sees a flower — really — it is so small it takes time — we haven’t time — and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.  -Georgia O’Keeffe
A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation.  – Bertrand Russell
The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.  – Francis Bacon
There is nothing we like to see so much as the gleam of pleasure in a person’s eye when he feels that we have sympathized with him, understood him. At these moments something fine and spiritual passes between two friends. These are the moments worth living.  – Don Marquis
True friendship consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and value.- Ben Jonson
It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.  – Marlene Dietrich
Friendship with oneself is all important because without it one cannot be friends with anybody else in the world.  – Eleanor Roosevelt

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