Monday, January 14, 2013

Up close and personal

We caught up with friends last night (Saturday) at The Dick, the Dick Whittington Hotel. While the hotel's menu is very limited, the food and the service make up for it.

Our ex NT politician friend and his Fijian Indian partner have returned from a holiday in Fiji. R had to pick the Brighton Antique Dealer up from Balaclava Station while I went straight to dinner from work. BAD brought along a friend, a fellow antique dealer who has financial troubles. Financial troubles can be quite relative. He lives in a large house in Kew with two houses behind which he also owns. He is considering buying an apartment in Paris. (Grace has just turned a violent shade of green) Personally, at eighty years old, I think he has left his run a bit late for a Parisian apartment. I have no idea if he is gay and no one else does. He rather likes our Fijian Indian friend and seems to cotton on to him. One can speculate, but who would know.

Our dyke friend was otherwise engaged and I made her apologies to the dyke hotel bar attendant. I may have been out of order passing on something that was not said, but no real harm done.

Also in attendance were our Brother Friends. We have known them for over thirty years but yet they are to desert us. They are moving to Thailand for a three month trial, followed by another three month trial. They have for a long time wanted to live in Thailand and now that they have retired, the time has arrived for them to bite the bullet.  They are being cautious and hope they will be content with renting two studio apartments in a small, modern and conveniently located hotel. Good luck to them and while of course we will stay in touch with them via electric wires and radio waves,  our number of friends will be further reduced, to about two people or three people.

We partied with our Brother Friends in earlier years, spent late nights out at bars and dance parties, being stoned together and had day time outings and picnics with them. We have seen their various friends, close friends and acquaintances come and go, as they have seen ours. We have holidayed with them, locally and overseas. We have had issues with them at times, as they have had with us. Now our connection is reduced to a couple of meals out a month and perhaps a twice yearly visit to each other's abodes. Oh yes, the weekly phone call and very occasional email too. Our friend in Japan moved away from Australia but I think we've kept quite a good connection with her since she left. I am not sure it will be the same for our Brother Friends. It really feels like another era ends, an era I have known for most of my life.

I am a little troubled about us running out of friends, yet I also feel some relief and I have no desire to add new friends. I worry that we don't have many friends, yet we don't feel the need for more. Perhaps it is because R and myself are very dependant on each other. In many ways we are quite opposite, so where he excels, I fail and where he fails, I excel. We are now quite well connected to family too. But there will be the day when R is not around anymore or my blog posts will stop dead. Have no fear though, I will take you on the journey of my long and lingering death, hopefully with a witticism from my death bed.

Yes, feeling a little maudlin. I will be over it in the morning.


14 comments:

  1. Well that post really cheered me up Andrew. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and just think of all the fabulous places you can visit around the world checking up on how your friends are doing (or not - then you can have the last laugh).

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    1. Fun60, it is rare for me to give over to melancholic thoughts. It is Pattaya where they will be and we have been there twice already. We were considerably younger then and the night life was fun but at our age, we are a bit past night life. There are some good tours to do though.

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  2. It's not the end of an era, just a slight change in how the friendship operates. I know it's not the same as being physically present but friendships can survive over long distances. As you rightly said, our connection has remained strong over the years, despite me galavanting off to Japan 9 years ago. It will take effort on both sides but there's no reason to believe your friendship with the brothers will disappear. And just think, now you have another reason to visit Asia. We could have a reunion somewhere, lazing on a beach for a week!

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    1. Wise words Wombat, but don't you start too on visiting. After Malaysia mid year, R went from 'that will be enough of Asian countries for a long time', to 'maybe we could visit them in October?'. He specifically mentioned lazing on a beach, which is not my thing really.

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  3. I'm not really one for lazing on a beach either - half a day is usually enough. You and I could go sightseeing and leave the others to soak up the sun.

    October's no good for me. How about September? Will have to start working on R when I'm in town!! :)

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    1. Actually, Jomtien Beach in a deck chair under umbrellas with people bringing you drinks and snacks is not so bad. To be discussed, in person.

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  4. I got stuck on "financial troubles" and "owns three houses", and couldn't pay much attention to the rest. I know you said financial troubles can be relative, but if that was me, I'd be quick to either rent out or sell two of the houses and resolve my difficulties. and I'd be doing it BEFORE considering buying yet another home, in Paris or wherever.

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    1. River, of course it is nonsense that he really has financial troubles. He might have trouble managing his money, not the quantity of it. Often people with a lot will moan about how much everything costs.

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  5. A Paris apartment would totally be wasted on BAD, come on Andrew, drop him s hint that you know Francophile who would be more than willing to babysit his investment in gay Paree!!

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    1. Yes, I am sure you would like it Grace. I might too and come to love Paris.

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  6. Wot, financial troubles relative? It's me that's the poorest in my family, not the relos! In fact, maybe that's why I don't have many friends!

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    1. FC, so money brings friends? It possibly does. Seriously though, I guess you need to be able to keep up with friends financially when you go out for dinner etc. It is no use me having fine dining friends as I start to perspire when I see a menu with a main over $30.

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  7. And there I was thinking of muscling in on you and R as a new friend only to find you are off to your death bed! I'm sure you will manage that decorously.

    :-)

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    1. Decorously Victor? No way. While I could still type, I should aim to have everyone in sympathetic tears on a daily basis.

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