Last night, in order to soften the blow of G's departure to Chablis, I decided to have some friends over for dinner. I spent most of Tuesday evening cooking with various pots and pans bubbling on the stove and onto the work surface. Turkey in creamy mustard sauce with rice was on the menu and I think it was pretty ok, though obviously due to the fact that I'd invited eight people, it was more about quantity than quality.
The French contingent stayed until the respectable time of 11.30pm, then politely went on their way. My English and American friends - and 1 Italian friend - stayed on amongst much merriment, giggles and empties until 1.30am. It was the best evening I've had in a long while with friends, just laughing and telling stories. S, my Italian friend, always has hilarious anecdotes about the various scrapes and situations she gets into. Also A, one of my American friends was over in Europe from Dubai, and we hadn't seen her for several months.
I do miss G, but this evening I realised that girlfriends are such a tonic. Glancing round and checking glasses and filling them up with Chablis, Champagne and pinot noir, I saw how precious these people are to me. There were of course plenty of gaps, especially an L-shaped one, I miss her often, and especially on occasions like last night.
But life goes on, people leave and people return, and we still plod along. Friends just make the plod fun.