New Friends can come quite unexpectedly into one’s life

Happy New Year to everyone reading this! Looking back and looking ahead. 
08/01/2022

(Friday 21st January 2022.)  I’ve had a great day today – lots of emails sent and I’ve written to ask for possible book reviews for Abigay’s Farm.  (HINT to anyone reading this!. . . Reviews are welcome.)

Originally my plan for today was to join some friends at a knitting group session.  Unfortunately, something “weird” happened to my foot as I was putting my shoe on and I could hardly walk on it, hence the enforced time sitting at home at my computer.

I was touched by text messages from my friends at the knitting group. I had already explained that I thought  the thing that happened to my foot was purely very short-term. I didn’t sprain it or anything serious. However, they still sent messages, which was kind. These are relatively “new” friends.

When our younger daughter was aged eleven years, we were all going to move yet again as a family and she was upset that she would be leaving her friends behind.  My husband was – and is – a minister of religion (now retired).  This meant that we moved towns and also for a brief period – countries.  We spent three years in Malaysia serving with a Christian church there.

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I tried to console my daughter by saying that her “old” friends from Gateshead could come and visit us and that would be great fun. Fortunately, this is what did happen and some decades later, she remains in contact with her then best-friend.

I also told her about my great-aunt, who moved to Cornwall in her seventies.

She lived alone in a tiny little cottage and originally, she knew nobody in the area except her brother who lived in a different town in Cornwall.  Then unexpectedly she made a wonderful new friend who had moved to Cornwall from America. I must have accentuated the words when she was in her seventies because at the time, I felt that was incredibly OLD (and I suppose it is. . .)

In my story ‘Abigay’s Farm’, Abigay arrives at her grandparents’ farm for the very first time without her twin brother Gabriel, who is in hospital.  She misses him desperately. Then unexpected visitors arrive in a camper-van and ask for permission to camp on a spare field. The parents are artists and they have a young daughter, Juliette. When challenged by an unpleasant boy who asks ‘Who’s SHE?  Juliette describes herself in a spirited manner ‘I’m Juliette. I’m from Canada. I’m nearly eight.’

Juliette can be trying and over-enthusiastic at times, so well-captivated by Patrice Aggs’ illustrations (seen rushing to see what Grandma and Abigay are looking at here)

However, if you read the story, I think you will find that she is also an interesting , even empathetic and supportive friend for Abigay.  Her arrival as a friend in Abigay’s life was quite unexpected.

I first met my knitting friends around five years ago. We go on outings and walks together. They all came and helped at the book launch of ‘Abigay’s Farm’.  I value their friendship.

So, according to my own experience, it seems as if my attempt at comforting our young daughter all those years ago, still rings true. New friends can spring up quite unexpectedly.

 

Odette Elliott
Odette Elliott
I love writing stories for children. I have had six books published and am working on others.

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