We hear a lot about fair-weather friends, but in my experience a far more common phenomenon is the foul-weather friend. These people are a present help in times of trouble; they are at your side through thin and – er, thin; they stick to you through the darkest crisis, dispensing tea and wisdom, sympathy and advice. They are there for you in the way a friend should be. ‘What a great friend!’ you think. ‘I can’t wait to start hanging out and sharing the good times with them.’ You look forward to that period of your life when all the clouds have vanished and you can share the joy as well as the pain.
And inevitably, things do get better: the problems burn themselves out or are solved somehow; little things start to go right – and one day you wake up and realise: you’re a success! And in that moment you turn to share the joy with your friend – and suddenly you realise, they’re not there. They are in fact long-gone; and tracking back in your memory, it comes to you that in fact they went out to get a breath of fresh air about six months ago and haven’t been seen since. They were, it seems, a foul-weather friend.
Does that ring any bells?
Yesterday was a curate’s egg of a day (incidentally I’m trying to figure out what a curate’s soldiers would be like: I guess some of them would be straight and firm and dip into the egg nicely but others would be all flabby and wishy-washy.) Anyway… the good part of yesterday was that I’ve had another acceptance – subject to making some changes to the story. I’d quite forgotten about this story and when I saw the email I was sure it’d be a rejection but it wasn’t: it was a whole series of comments and suggestions for rewrites. I don’t know why this is, but I find it terribly hard to read comments on my work: even if they’re complimentary (as these mostly were) I’m always dreading the sting in the tail, so I scan them at speed with my heart pounding.
The bad thing about yesterday was that my play got deleted from the desktop in spite of my asking everyone not to and leaving a note to that effect. Grrr! Oh, and then I had to attend a session on child safety issues, which was not exactly a blast.
So today I shall be mostly… finishing off a memoir to send tomorrow and once more applying for mentoring via East Midlands Arts.