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Bookends

Isn’t that what some old friends are?

However wide the gap, they are always there, like a book end, stopping everything from permanently sliding away.

I love the words from this Simon and Garfunkel tune:

…..Old Friends
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear
A time it was
It was a time
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you

What has prompted this unusual post from me?

This morning I answered the phone……

“Hi Vic, I’m back in town for a couple of days, do you fancy taking the dogs for a walk?”

…..it was an old friend, not just any friend, but my ‘bookend’ my confidant, my shoulder to cry on, we shared each others worries and happiness, together we would put the world to right. I missed her so much when she and her husband moved to Scotland several years ago.
I’ve probably seen her two or three times since then, but work commitments amongst other things have kept us apart…..

We arranged to meet up in Morton Stanley Park.
Unlike some folk who I haven’t seen for years, there was no awkward silence, we hugged, the dogs (she has a gorgeous rescued greyhound) sniffed, and we set off around the park.
The conversation flowed, it was as though we’d turned the clock back all those years, apart from having different dogs, and a few extra wrinkles and grey hairs.

To me, that is a true friend, someone I still feel comfortable with however much water has gone under the bridge.

My intention was to take some photos, but time passed too quickly, plus neither of us are happy on that side of the camera.

One of the rare photos of us together, this was taken in June 1990, two months after my friend’s horse Danny had been killed in tragic circumstances.

IMG…Long ago it must be, I have a photograph…

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19 thoughts on “Bookends

  1. You’ve described this perfectly, and I love that Simon & Garfunkel song (and all of them) as well. I know exactly what you mean by bookends. I have one particular bookend friend. We don’t talk regularly as we have different lives and live hours apart but we get together as much as we can and it’s like we’ve never been apart. I’ve known her longer than my sisters, and Roughsea’s recent post about love got me thinking about the bond between Mrs S. & I. It is as you it is with you and you friend – I hadn’t thought about bookends, but it a great way to put it…
    A few years ago I accompanied the G.O. to the funeral for his brother-in-law’s mother who I didn’t know. We were seated directly behind her long time friend who was collected but distressed. During the proceedings I felt an energy envelope her, comforting – I’m sure it was her deceased friend making sure she was ok.

    • I certainly believe in some form of unexplained energy from the deceased.
      Even more so after experiencing something similar after H died.

      Simon and Garfunkel are definitely one of my favourites too. Some songwriters have a wonderful way with words.

  2. You don’t need photographs anyway, Dawn is part of your past and will always be there in the future no matter what. The good times are always remembered, they are part of your very soul. You never lose a true friend, you only have to think of them and you feel happy. Simon and Garfunkel are part of us too, they also bring back many happy memories. You can almost remember what you were doing when you first heard their songs. Memories are always good ones.Glad you caught up with one another.

    • Yes, a true friend is someone we know we can call on, whatever time of the day or night and for whatever reason 🙂
      Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve any photos of you either. 😉

  3. For all I rarely see previous friends any more, there is no awkwardness or lack of conversation (not that I have noticed). But as you know, I have a different life to the friends of my youth. And very different views and aspirations (well none!).

    Who is that young skinny blond on the horse? Could be me. My riding years were early 80s, although with hard hat not crash helmet. I chucked the hard hat away 😦 Ah, no it couldn’t be me, I don’t smile on photos.

    I’m ambivalent about S&G. LIked them a lot in the 70s (?), even my mum did and bought me BOTW album. Later I went off them. They still get played at the finca sometimes as A also had BOTW. And I do like some of the songs still. I am a rock. That would be a good one for Gib eh? Didn’t recognise this one until it got to … A time it was etc – and then we both pegged it straightaway. Hey! Not more tune guessing for poor roughseas 😀

    • I can count on one hand the friends who I still feel comfortable with, others that once I felt at ease with are now just acquaintances.
      I’ve never been a people person, which may explain it.

      S&G were, and still are one of my all time favourites. I think Paul Simon as a songwriter is brilliant, I just love the way his words are so heartfelt.
      BOTW, reminds me of a local pub, all now refurbished, but as soon as I hear the song, I’m sat back in there in the 70’s.

      • What’s a people person? 😀 I tend to agree with your view about a ‘true friend’. There’s a line in one of the Daniel Craig James Bond films, where someone asks ‘A friend of yours?’ and his reply is ‘I don’t have any friends.’ I think it is pure gold. It’s something that A says often. Too many people letting you down, or causing disappointment or disillusionment … no wonder some of us prefer animals.

        Actually being able to call on people for help, or to talk, or to ask for favours, isn’t easy at the best of times. A crude but stark definition for me is – do you know anyone you could ask for money (not thousands, but say a hundred) if you were stuck? Better still, do you know someone who would offer, because they knew you would never ask? I’ve only ever known one person who has done that. (And yes, I did pay it back plus some extra).

        People who give you something unasked for are special and rare. Sometimes they aren’t always friends in social terms, my Spanish neighbours consider themselves our friends as well as our neighbours, even though they are our parents’ ages. I wouldn’t call my Gib neighbours over the road ‘friends’ but yet, he will act as a character referee for any jobs I apply for, I’ve visited her when she has come out of hospital with flowers and a card, we’ve had Christmas presents from them – nothing big, just a small gesture, a pineapple, a tin of roses (got passed onto the Spanish neighbours!).

        There’s an interesting line between friends and neighbours. Your neighbour friends are only ‘friends’ as long as you live there. A bit like work colleagues. Or maybe I’m just pragmatic and cynical.

        I was surprised about the ‘blond’ hair as I’ve never seen pix of blond you. Looks like it suits you 😀 And how young do you look on that too!

        • People person?……I’m never 100% comfortable amongst people, apart from the odd one or two and they are on the same wavelength.
          I did go through a phase of having highlights, which gave an overall lighter appearance to my hair, thinking about it, it may have been around the time of that pic

  4. Nice post.

    I don’t really have any true friends any more as most of my ‘friends’ are work colleagues etc. I have a few people that I’ve met via the Land Rover hobby but most live many miles away and I don’t get to see them that much. The biggest problem for me is that I moved hundreds of miles North to be with E and the distance meant that I mostly lost contact with my good friends as I could rarely see them.

    Then came the children and our life was hectic and finding the time to meet up with people seemed very difficult. Finally my best friends have been (and to an extent still are) my ex-girlfriends so as you can imagine it is not often that I get the opportunity to meet up with them. However I know that should I ever need their help or support I could call them and they would be there for me and as you found Vicky, I would have no problems dropping straight back into conversation with them as though I’d only spoken with them yesterday, the friendship being that good.

    To be fair E doesn’t have any issues with me speaking to them if I wanted as there is no jealousy. It is mostly a distance thing again and the fact they are busy with their own lives. In E’s case one of her ex-boyfriends is still a close friend and he’ll come visit us a couple of times a year. There is certainly no uncomfortable feelings and in fact I get along really well with him as E would do with my ex’s as we all share very similar tastes and interests.

    I did try and keep in touch with my old friends after moving here but it is quite difficult and times slips so quickly by that before you know it, it has been several years and then you feel bad that you haven’t been in touch with them and feel a little shy about calling them after so long. Funny that with so many forms of communication available these days it seems harder than ever to stay in touch (or close) with people or maybe that is just me.

    • I know exactly what you mean about the distance thing.
      I have an old school friend in Leeds (I was eighteen when I moved south), we did everything together, our parents became good friends too, we still send christmas and birthday cards, and I have been back to visit her over the years, we’ve had great catch ups too, so I can’t explain why or what, but that ‘something’ has gone.

      ….you feel bad that you haven’t been in touch with them and feel a little shy about calling them…
      Your comment above is exactly what I mean, which for me always leads to that awkward silence I mentioned.

      • How sad is that? I got in touch with someone recently, after we had drifted apart. He said he’d not been in touch because we had lost contact. It was too difficult for him. Really? So why did I write to him>? Our relationships with each other are so transient. Passing ships in the night sometimes. And yet, I got an email from a university friend (on one of the emails I rarely check!) saying he had lost my address and could I reply so he could send a C card. (Yes another C card!).

        But it is odd. I have friends from years ago, and recent new ones. The middle ones have disappeared. Maybe they always would.

        That ‘something’ is special and rare.

  5. wow, that was a trip down memory lane for me…. one of my favourite S&G songs. and i am still quite a fan, i realized, as i heard this – although i have not listened to their music in years. kind of like an old friend.
     
    i am blessed to have some friends like that – where you can simply pick up where you left off. time or distance, and sometimes both keep you apart, and then when you do get together, there are no pretences and no excuses required. i think friendship is a very fine invention indeed.
     
    i guess i am a people person. my Dad was very much so, and the older i get, the more of his attributes i recognize in me. i enjoy travel, and yet continue to rediscover that for me the highlight of a trip is the time spent with others – and the views and adventures are but a wonderful bonus. but enough about me.
     
    this was a touching post. how lovely that you and your book-end friend could connect again. thank you for sharing this post.

    • I have quite a few S&G albums, mostly on vinyl though, so they don’t get played too often. But exactly as you have said, I’ll hear a tune I haven’t heard for years and straight away it’s like a returning old friend.
      Thats when I tend to dig out the albums and sit there all mellow listening. 🙂

  6. Hi Vicky,
    S&G … such talented musicians! Great post … and interesting comments. Food for thought. I think I know what you mean by ‘people person’, because I’m not either. It isn’t getting better over the years — on the contrary. There are times when it feels like I like animals better than people, just like Rough said, but I don’t tell anyone.
    However … I do have one friend though, ‘friend’, in the right meaning of the word. We’ve been friends since we were 12/13. No matter how long time has passed inbetween we meet, it’s the same … we just pick up where we left off. We’ve led totally different kind of lives, but that doesn’t matter. «It» is still there. It’s very comforting just to think about it. I wouldn’t have to ask her to loan me the money Rough mentioned …

    I’m glad you have a friend like that too.

    It was interesting to read somewhere in the comments, how communications sometimes seem to have deteriorated, in spite of all the improvements in the way of computer/internet … I have the same feeling sometimes.

    • How nice you still have such a long term friend. I’m guessing that she is from Sweden?
      I have found that distance has driven a wedge between me and my old school friends 😦

  7. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Pattern | Pic a colour 4 Me

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