Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Long time no see

Last night, an unexpected ring at the doorbell! Unexpected, because on weekday evenings I rarely have visitors who come unannounced. So usually an unexpected caller means bad news or fuss I can do without, especially in the evening when I’m decompressing from a stressful day at work. 

With some reluctance I picked up the speaker phone: “Hallo?”  

A cheery voice on the other end chirped: “Surprise!!!!! It’s Mati!” If you’re a long-time follower of my blog you know that Mati is my lifetime friend who moved to the north of Belgium near the Dutch border when she gave up her teaching job in our local primary school to go and work in Antwerp. We’ve known each other since we were three and spent 15 years in the same schools and classrooms. We even spent two summer holidays in Deal together and managed to get our photo in the local paper. I’ve posted about this memorable event here. 

Although we’ve kept in touch since her move north, exchanging Christmas and birthday cards, we hadn’t seen each other since the very early years of the 21st century … until last night.

I was so surprised and happy to see her that I couldn’t stop hugging her when she walked into the apartment. We nestled ourselves on my big sofa and talked and talked and talked … At first we mainly talked about my upcoming trip …which automatically led to the subject of my blog and my blog friends whom I’m soon to see again or meet for the first time. Later the conversation turned to Mati’s new project, which should lead to the achievement of her lifetime dream … Curious? Sorry, I can’t tell you what it is, because it’s a unique concept and Mati is afraid that someone might steal the idea and use it before she has found the means/sponsor that can help her putting it on the market. All I can say that it has something to do with fashion… 

I also asked her about her children, both in their early thirties now. Apparently Mati’s creativity has rubbed off on them. Her son is a graphic designer. He got married last August and pretty soon Mati will be a grandmother. I’m sure she’ll be very good at it, because as a former teacher she has always been very good and fond of working with children. Her daughter is a professional dancer, who has created and danced some impressive modern performances on different European stages. 

At some point it got really dark and when I switched on the light we realized that it was well over ten o’clock. Mati suggested to pop in at my mother’s to say hello, but I dissuaded her to do so, because my mother was probably already in bed. She was really disappointed, but understood my reasoning.  

It was hard to say goodbye because there was still so much we wanted to share. But Mati had a long drive home ahead of her and she doesn’t like driving in the dark. Luckily the weather was dry and it was a clear evening, without any mist. I hope she got home safely and look forward to seeing her again. 

Mati, if you are reading this, THANK YOU for dropping in. It was fun and I really had a fabulous evening. 

P.S. Blogger is having issues with fonds again. Sorry for the messy lay-out and presentation of this post.


Mark said...

Nothing is better than life-long Friends. That is a great surprise!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

How great, most of my life time friends are in Africa, if only one of them would come and knock on my door :) Diane

Louise said...

Martine I have smiled, out loud (!) reading this post. Like you I have friends going back so many years with whom I don't necessarily speak, or have contact with regularly other than Christmas cards. But when we do have a chance to chat... via email, or telephone,or fortunately in person, we realise the distance of time, and space means nothing... we are still connected.Thank you for sharing this lovely story. Louise

Bob said...

Louise is correct. Too bad the stay couldn't have been longer. This summer I plan to visit friends I have not seen for 30 and 50 years respectively. It's going to be fun, I hope?

Leon and Sue Sims said...

Martine - the is a bottle of Mumm bubbly waiting for you with Ken and Walt. It is from us to congratulate you on 100,000 visits to your Blog.
Have a great trip to the Loire.
Sorry we missed each other once again as we sit here in our Paris apartment before returning at the end of the month.

ladybird said...

Mark,It was a very pleasant surprise indeed!

Diane, Who knows. I'm sure they will look they up whenever they are in France or the UK.

Louise, I guess these life-time friendships are made of very solid material ... made to last, as you said.

Bob, Will they be wearing a green scarf for you to recognize them? :)

L&S, I've been following your adventures every day and look forward to reading more about your time in the Loire Valley. Thank you in advance for that fancy bottle of bubbly. Mumm!!!! Mmmmmmm
Enjoy your stay in Paris. Today is opening day at Roland Garos. Will you be attending any of the matches?

Leon and Sue Sims said...

Never actually thought about the tennis here. Paris gives us time to unwind before our horrendous 30 plus hours in cattle class of the plane. I almost feel like mooooooing by the end of the flight.
Enjoy your Mumm with friends at the lunch we would love to be at.

ladybird said...

L&S, Thank you so much for the bubbles. We'll be drinking them with a 'Here's to you mate!' while raising our glasses. Enjoy your week in Paris and have a safe trip home!