The Friends That Made Me Me: Bex

One of the things I love about reader Bex (who blogs over at The Olive Dragonfly) is that whatever she does, she commits to one hundred per cent.  She doesn’t just look forward to things, she gets I-can’t-breathe excited.  She doesn’t just take a couple of pictures, she takes a whole exhibition’s worth.  And she doesn’t just write a Friends That Made Me Me post, she makes it EPIC.  Featuring her dog.  Readers, the bit about the dog made me cry.   

Bex, this is a hell of a tribute to all those people (and animals…!) that made you who you are today.  And if you’re anything to go by…then I want to know all of them.  Every single one.  Over to you:

 

I was inspired to write my friends that made me me in a similar way to Amy’s Books that made me me post.  The books she read when she was younger up to the present day and how each had had an influence on her (which is kinda the point, I know!)  I immediately asked Anna if there were any rules about these posts as most people had written about the Friend TMMM, not friends, although there have since been multiples and she has assured me there are no rules.  So here is my personal list of the friends that made me me throughout my life, the ones who stand out as having really influenced who I am.  It has ended up a bit long as a result though, sorry!

 

The first proper friend I remember having is Erica.  I met her in P3 when we first moved to the little village I grew up in, age 6.  We both had a love for bikes and playing in the park, not to mention 80′s fashion – oh the shell suits!  (My brother and I had matching purple and green ones, oh how cool were we!)  One of the things I particularly remember about Erica is that we loved making things.  Especially out of Fimo!  The hours we used to spend making ‘ornaments’, beads and jewellery.  Our poor mothers having to wear or display our beautiful wares.  We loved it and I still love making things to this day and relished in getting to use Fimo again to make props for our wedding photo booth, with similar results to when I was 7!

Erica and I in our stylish 80′s gear, before GHDs were invented!

 

It was another school friend who got me majorly into horses.  Stella lived on a farm and owned two horses which I was suddenly into age 11 and she taught me everything I know about horses, how to ride and even showjumping (on home-made jumps in the field next to her house)!  We used to get up at 5am on weekends, sort out the horses then go out ALL day with a picnic riding around the countryside.  Those days my Mum would always have to put my dinner in the microwave as I often never returned until late (but still before it got dark of course, they were the rules back then way before mobile phones!)  It’s crazy to think about that now that I was allowed to be gone all day with no way to contact home which did backfire spectacularly one time Stella and I left the horses behind and went off walking around the countryside instead and on the way back (about 2 miles from home) were attacked by a swarm of bees in a country lane.  We both ended up with multiple stings (poor stella had more than me, mostly on her head we think down to her being a redhead) and having to walk 2 miles back in tears as there was no other choice!  We turned up on her grandmother’s doorstep (the first house in our village) distraught and asking for our mothers who were called to collect us.  These days out were one of the things that gave me such a level of independence and sense of adventure.

 

My next life changing friend came along when I was 15.  She made a huge difference to my life, enabled me to make new friends and I finally had someone who I could trust implicitly with my secrets.  My dog, Gigha.  She was 8 when we adopted her and amazingly well trained.  She was super clever and we had hours of fun walking in the woods and fields nearby.  I used to tell her everything.  Having a dog caused a palpable change in me, I suddenly had a lot more confidence, even my guidance teacher at school asked what had changed as he’d noticed that I apparently walked differently in the corridors with my head up instead of skulking around shyly.  She was a great model, I always used to make her sit on a giant tree stump and take photos of her, she could catch a Frisbee and even climb trees!

On my first day at university I met Vikki who just happened to be doing the same course.  Vikki is probably the friend who knows me best in the world.  She was there when I left home, went through heartaches, failed exams (she turned up at 2am to comfort me when I called her in tears that night) and was the one who dropped me at the airport to fly to Australia solo for my elective telling me I was going to have an amazing time and there was nothing to worry about when I suddenly got nervous!  When she first met Nik, she told me she was glad I had finally met someone who could take care of me and I knew just what she meant (not that I need looking after).  She was my obvious choice to be my maid of honour and happily agreed even when it turned out she’d be 32 weeks pregnant on the day!  She’s always supported me and is always there at the end of the phone when I need a chat, even if we haven’t spoken for months.  She’s like a big sister to me, even though she’s 5 days younger!

This clearly wasn’t in 1987, we’re not that old!

Viks and I at our 5/6 year reunion (I repeated a year)

 

I need to mention my other bridesmaids who I only met in 2008 when I moved into our flat.  Of all the flats we could have bought, this was the one that brought me to them and I am eternally grateful for having met them.  Claire was our downstairs neighbour until very recently (I miss her already, no more popping in for a cuppa before I head upstairs to home after work!) and when I first met her and her family in the garden that year, I was straight on the phone to Nik (who was yet to move in) dancing round the room telling how amazing our new neighbours were and that I knew we were going to be great friends.  Claire is my agony aunt, she’s always there with advice and a shoulder to cry on in times of crisis (like when I dropped our new expensive made to measure curtains in the road when getting them out of the car and they ended up with oil all over them!  Claire was there for the tears with a glass of wine when I stomped out after the argument with Nik after he asked me why I dropped them!  I think you can imagine how that argument went!  Or the time I got in a panic that Nik didn’t want to ever marry me before we were engaged!  Emotional?  Me?)  Thank goodness she lived downstairs during the whole year of wedding planning!  Through Claire, I got to know Sarah better.  Sarah was the girl we bought the flat from!  Claire invited me on a girls night out not long after meeting her and Sarah was there (as they had obviously been neighbours and friends when she lived here!) and we soon realised how alike our tastes were (I haven’t even needed to decorate most of the flat!) and hit it off.  They are now two of my best friends after becoming close really quickly and I can’t imagine life without our lunches/coffees/drunken nights out!  They have provided me with so much support during my engagement and first year of marriage and even given me my first taste of looking after tiny people – thanks for that Sarah, my first ever nappy change and it was a major one!!

Vikki, Vikki’s bump, Me, Sarah, Claire

 Speaking of inspiring independence, adventure and confidence, I can’t write about the friends that made me me without mentioning my amazing Mum!  I’m sure you all think it’s obvious that Mums make you who you are at all stages in life because that’s what Mums do.  My Mum did the obvious as well as being my friend, some of which I have written about before.  Believe me that she wasn’t always my friend, there were of course those times I hated her for making me do my homework when everyone else was out playing and other such sensible things Mums make you do for reasons you don’t understand at that age and if it hadn’t been for that and her kicking up a fuss when we chose our work experience places at school I would never have become a dentist.  It was the other times I appreciated her as my best friend, the time when I was 6 and she would make us matching outfits which made me feel all grown up (I specifically remember a rainbow check skirt!), the time when I was 13 and we spent hours making jewellery together with the business name Lynky (Lyndsey and Becky) and then letting me do the selling craft fairs and coffee mornings as she was apparently too shy (not sure I believe that!), the times when I was 18 that we’d be on the phone for hours discussing whatever hilarious/moving/scary thing we’d just seen on telly and other inane things after I’d moved into my own flat, the time I was 19 and we went out in a limo before heading to the union for a night of dancing to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary as my Dad was working abroad, the time I was 29 and we celebrated my hen night and she laughed along with the embarrassing dares my BMs made me do and she stayed out to come clubbing again and when we still have those long chats now, via Skype or a cheap dial number as she’s now joined Dad abroad, to discuss blogs (Mum loves my blog as it keeps her so informed!), life, husbands, recipes and all the usual gossip and inane chat.  I have had lots of friends but never a lifelong best friend like so many girls I know have from childhood.  I do have my Mum though and that’s even more special to me.  Oh and the thing we do best together – shopping!

Mum & I diving

On my Hen Night – my MIL is pretty cool too!

 

There’s just one more that I have to mention and it’s a collective.  The friends I’ve made through blogging!  Some I have met and some I haven’t but the support, advice, tips and inspiration I have received or picked up from my own blog and reading others’ is phenomenal!  I have suddenly found myself with a whole troupe of cheerleaders helping me get fit & healthy (have recently lost a stone with the support of my readers), people to aspire to who write to beautifully here on AOW and style to emulate over at Florence Finds.  Absolutely every one I have come across through blog-land has been utterly lovely and it comforts me that when we will inevitably have to move in 2-3 years time for Nik’s career, I will already have friends there, all I have to do is sign into twitter!  Maybe even some in ‘real life’, depending wherever it is we end up, you’re all pretty scattered after all!

Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Friend That Made Me Me, Life Experience
21 interesting thoughts on this

21 Comments

  1. Vivienne
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Fabulously written as always Bex – and your blog posts never feel long as there is so much enthusiasm and passion behind them, no matter what you are writing about!

    Xxx

  2. Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Bex I love you. I feel like reading this, over breakfast, you were actually sitting here with me. What’s that? You don’t want your croissant? Oh go on then!

    And yay for blogging friends, I still smile when I look at that last photograph…what a brilliant weekend it was xxx

    • Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Me too! I’m actually wearing that red dress today (as a top, with a skirt over it, minus the pink tights and sparkly boots – my office isn’t *that* casual) so it’s lovely to be reminded of the last time I wore it :)

  3. Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Aw Bex what a brilliant FTMMM! I particularly like the bit with the horses which sounds like an adventure from a childrens novel.
    Another massive YAY from me for blogging friends. Can’t wait to see you again soon.
    (Also *cough AOP cough*)

  4. Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Awww, I can’t believe you used all the photos of Gigha!! After scanning my favourites I, as usual, couldn’t narrow them down any further so sent them all and you’ve kept them all in, bless! :)

    So glad you enjoyed reading it ladies :)

  5. Mahj
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Aww Bex, you are so sweet. And I love how your dog was included!

    Here’s me hoping that we finally get to meet one day – maybe if you and Nik move down to Manchester….or at the next highly anticipated AOP perhaps?!

    xoxo

    • Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      It seems I have just had the brainwave of ODP (Olive Dragonfly Party) as it’s about time there was one of these meet ups in Scotland methinks! ;)

      When is AOP ladies?? I need to know so I can plan around it!

  6. Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Wahhh, Gigha is beautiful! Lovely stuff Bex, here’s hoping you move nearer to us all!

    Px

  7. Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    this is a brilliant post! I had a dog ages 0-13 (she was a year older than me and we grew up together) and she was the best friend a girl could ask for. She used to come with me when I took my horses out too! :)

    x

  8. Zan
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Great FTMMM – I love the variety of friends you’ve included, old, new, canine :)

  9. Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    This is my favourite FTMMM yet I think, it makes me want to be your friend too! :-D

    K x

    • Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      But you are my friend, it’s just that we haven’t met yet! You’re in there with that last bunch of my cheerleaders from blogs and twitter!! You guys have no idea how much all this random on-line communication means to me! :D

  10. Roz
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Loved reading this :D And I love that you included your mum and your dog. But please don’t move away from Glasgow (is it a bit scary for me to say this when we only just met??) but who will I go screen printing and sew with?!? Hahahaha xx

    Ps when is the next AOP girls?

    • Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Not scary at all, (I know where YOU live remember ;) ) I love that I have been able to make such lovely friends in Glasgow through twitter, especially as the ‘real life’ friends mentioned above struggle to do all the things I want to do (I do love all my random days of making/sewing/etc.) due to them being babied up now! x

  11. Peridot
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    That is one idyllic sounding childhood. Except for the being stung by bees bit of course. (I nearly wrote ‘bee stings bit’ then realised how it sounded!)

    Can I add a note of shallowness here and say how much I LOVE your bridesmaids dresses? Oh, what a gorgeous colour. I like green too. You may have guessed this…

    • Posted June 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks! I had to have them made as the high street wasn’t co-operating with my choice of colour at the time!! Luckily got all the fabric for just £50 in Malaysia!! :)

  12. Lyndsey Wilson
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I knew I had a clever daughter but didn’t realise quite how talented she is. I must confess to being a mother who always plays down my children’s achievements despite being incredibly proud of them both, luckily this hasn’t held Becky back in any way (I hope) and today I would like to say how very, very happy I am that she has included me in her FTMMM post and how beautifully she writes from her heart, which I might add is always big enough for one more friend.

  13. Laura
    Posted June 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Woop woop! This is so lovely and upbeat and cheerful it just made me grin like a loon reading it-you are the most relentlessly positive person!

  14. Posted June 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely post Becky and I am honoured to be included in your list. Big hugs, Sarah x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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