I started the year rather grumpily thinking that I might stop writing this blog, and had nudged my co-authors about this (no offence and nothing personal Jackie & Sandra). Then I find to my surprise that Barbara has given us a "Friends" award to start off the new year so how, in the face of such encouragement, can I stop?! Go and read what Barbara says about why she's awarded us and seven other bloggers this accolade, and you'll see that it's not about the "numbers game" of getting the blog read by lots of people. It's more about quality and friendship, values and attitudes.
Barbara also explains that this badge of recognition can be passed on by recipients to 8 other bloggers, but to be honest, several of those she names are blogs that I already read and drop in on, so I'd find it difficult to fulfil that. Instead, let me say something about Barbara.
She's American, grew up in Hawaii, is a teacher, speaks fluent French, is married to Didier and they live with his father Andre. Barbara calls him FIL (father-in-law) when she writes about him. She's a whizz at caring for people and has recently been clearing the pavements outside her house in her suburb of Paris, brushing up snow, chunking the ice away and salting them so they are safe to walk on. Paris has been, and by the sound of things still is, in the grip of a cold snap not unlike the one we've had in the UK. Temperatures higher than sub-zero are rare, and having been in Paris when it's not been above -5 in the daytime, I have an idea of what it's like. . . bbrrrrrrr!!
I met Barbara and Didier last year and we've kept in touch and up to date ever since, through blogs and by email. So here's celebrating friendship of all kinds. Regardless of whether it's hands-on, electronic, sustained only via a note in the annual Christmas card or something so long-lasting, tried and tested that no matter how many years lapse between meetings, the threads to true friendship can always be taken up from where they were last.
Thank you, Barbara, for that reminder of the value of true friendship and may we all carry that through 2009 in our lives and relationships with others.