What is friendship now?

Friendship is a funny old thing, especially how it changes over the years. When you’re younger and at school you see your friends all day, every day, and they are so much more important than anyone else in your life. You can’t even imagine a time when those people won’t be your whole world.

For some people that friendship carries on right into adulthood and through parenthood. But for most of us it falls by the wayside, as we move away, get married, have children, and change.

I started thinking about friendship recently, when two old friends from my bar-tending days in Nice, back in the summer of 1998, came over for a night out in London with me.

Old female friends reunited www.FranglaiseMummy.com

With my two old friends from Nice, reunited in a London pub recently.

Although we’re all on social media a lot, and so know what’s going on with each other’s lives, I hadn’t seen one of them for over 3 years, and the other one I see maybe 3 times a year.

Despite this we had a great night, and picked up from the olden days of working in expat bars on the French Riviera until 3am, and going out drinking until long after the sun had come up. It was really lovely to know that the friendship of our early twenties, when we were footloose and fancy-free, has translated itself to a (slightly) more mature, but still fun, late thirties version, taking into consideration the 8 children we have between us!

After they left, I sat with my hangover and pondered friendships I’ve had over the years and where I’m at now.

School friends

Whilst I had some good friends at school I lost touch with most of them when I went to university, and then moved to France. With the advent of social media, and Facebook in particular, I am back in touch with many old school friends. Even if I don’t meet up with these people it’s always nice to see what they are up to. Some of them have also given me amazing support with this blog, and Franglaise Cooking, as well as sponsoring me in my Sport Relief Honkopoly challenge back in February.

Uni friends

I was lucky enough to have made some fab uni friends who, 20 years later, I’m still good friends with and who I still meet up with frequently. Our husbands/wives know each other, our kids are friends with each other. Despite the distance we have managed to come together yearly, to have a weekend all together, just catching up, eating, drinking, talking, drinking some more, talking some more, and just revelling in our lovely, comfortable friendship.

Wedding with old friends www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Our uni crowd at one friend’s wedding in March this year (all looking very serious!)

Nice friends

Not nice friends. Nice Friends. Friends I made when I moved to Nice, France. I lived in the Nice region from the age of 22 to 34, which was a period of such transition – I arrived as a fresh graduate and left as a married mum. So my friends whilst I was there reflect that – I have expat friends who I met when working in an expat bar in the old town of Nice, I have French friends who I made through work, through my first French boyfriend, through Hubs or neighbours. I have friends of all ages and all nationalities from this period of my life. Friends who have seen me through dating, relationships, break-ups, a wedding and then a marriage, a miscarriage, a pregnancy, a birth, L’s early years, house buying, house selling, setting up a business, closing down a business, and massive life-changing decisions. The highs and the lows. And with social media the vast majority of these global friends can be in my life every day, even if I can’t physically be with them.

Work friends

I have had some interesting old jobs over the years (working for a man who worked for the Russian Mafia and was arrested for fraud, working for a self-proclaimed witch who was apparently burnt at the stake in a past life just to mention a couple), and what would work be without friends that you make there. When I first started working in London I loved the social life that came with my job, Friday lunches out and after work drinks were all the norm, not to mention camping trips away together with our families. I can remember some hilarious moments with work friends over the years, making the day-to-day so much more fun.

School mum friends

When we moved to London, L started nursery school and I discovered a new friendship, that of the school mums. School in the UK is far more sociable than school in France, with the parents regularly meeting up for coffee mornings or pub nights out, and I’m lucky enough that the mums/dads at L’s school are really lovely. And very sociable. And like wine. And partying. Need I say more?


About a year and a half ago one of our neighbours set up a neighbourhood watch group in our road, taking us from a street of Londoners who might smile good morning at each other, to a group of friends who have street parties, go to the pub for drinks together, and have our own babysitting circle. It’s wonderful to live in a big city but to know, and be friends with, your local neighbours.

NCT mums

Having missed out on NCT first time round when I had L in France, I decided that it was something I really wanted to do for my second pregnancy. Cue me meeting 7 wonderful women who helped me get through the early days with a (second) new baby. Despite most of our group being back at work now, we still manage to meet up (with and without kids), and to keep our friendship going.

And what about the most controversial group of friends?

Blogger and online friends

For those people who don’t blog, and don’t do social media, the idea of being friends with someone who you’ve never met, and who lives miles away, is a very strange one. For those of us who blog and who are on social media, it is the most normal, natural and wonderful thing in the world. Since starting on my blogging journey I have met the most amazing people. Brave, funny, talented, wonderful people. Friends who I see once a year, maybe more, friends I often have never met. These people know me, know (sometimes quite private) details about my life, and these people get me. Non-bloggers often ask me if the blogging world isn’t quite a lonely one. But it’s the opposite. It’s the most welcoming, friendly and open community. And sometimes those online friends become real life ones, and those are often the most solid friendships of all.

Three friends in a selfie www.FranglaiseMummy.com

With my lovely Honkopoly blogger-turned-real-life friends, Sarah from Grenglish and Vanessa from HPMcQ.

This blog post is dedicated to all my friends – online, offline, new, old – thank you for being in my life and for making it a better place 🙂


15 Responses

  1. I am one of those whose friends are compartmentalised into phases and places, having moved around a great deal! I revel in that and with every meet up, I’m transported to a different place, smell and memory! I totally get your post… I’ve only been a blogger for 5months and I’ve made one or two friends who I know will populate my life in a very personal way, we’ve never met! 🙂 x

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      That’s exactly it – being with them takes you back to a different place and time, and a different you. I love that! And the blogging world just rocks 🙂

  2. Nikki Thomas says:

    Such a lovely post and completely echoes my thoughts about friendships. I think that as you go through life many friends come and go and every now and then you just connect with some people and you become friends for life.
    Nikki Thomas recently posted…You can teach an old dog new tricks!My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Thanks Nikki, I find that a lot of my friends are in this situation now too. I love it this way and wouldn’t change it for the world 🙂

  3. Mari says:

    I can so relate to this post, I moved to Italy for almost 20 years and when I left I left family and dear friends who I still miss today, my life now consists of more online friends than offline but it’s good, I just wish sometimes they were a lot closer
    Mari recently posted…M&S AW14 collectionsMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I too wish a lot of my friends were closer, but I love that social media helps me to stay in touch and to not feel too far away 🙂

  4. HPMcQ says:

    you forgot to mention how we bonded over our ridiculous love of cheese! big hugs honey so honoured to be one of your real life and online friends x
    HPMcQ recently posted…365 21.05.14My Profile

  5. Grenglish says:

    What a lovely post! Like you, I have so many different groups of friends, all very special in their own way.

    Some I see more than others, and some I lost touch with over the years but have been reunited with through social media. I love being able to congratulate them on engagements, like photos of their children, or just send them a virtual hug when they are feeling down.

    Some of the people I am closest to at the moment, I met through blogging. It is a wonderful community and I love being a part of it, not least because it meant I got to meet YOU! xx

  6. I’ve been meaning to write a post like this for a while now. You’re right that we have pockets of friends, and we’re different with each group. Like you, I only see my university friends once a year or so, but we slot right back into the comfortable friendship that comes from knowing each other inside out during a very intense period of our lives.
    And NCT friends. I have no idea what I would do without them!
    And lovely blogging friends! We are so so lucky x
    Actually Mummy… recently posted…Expressions #08: my football fanMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I think so many of us live with these groups of friends now, maybe it’s an age thing, maybe it’s the way we live now, but I love it….apart from those friends who are far away 🙁 But, yes, I definitely feel lucky 🙂 x

  7. This is such an interesting post. I’ve come to realise that a lot of friendships are situational and won’t stand the test of time, while others blossom and grow DESPITE your respective situations. Social media helps a lot and I agree with Grenglish that being able to keep in touch with friends across the miles is wonderful. When Little Man was poorly recently for example I had so many lovely messages from friends that I haven’t seen for years. I’ve also met some wonderful people through blogging that I wish I could see more of – Britmumslive is going to be a real hug-fest! x
    Michelle @ Bod for tea recently posted…What’s it like to have a personal stylist?My Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Britmums live is going to be hug-tastic, and I am certain there will be lots of tears and laughter – best wear waterproof mascara me thinks! x

  1. 24/05/2014

    […] What is friendship now? {Intentional living} realistic memory-keeping […]

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