Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Money, money, money, ooh ooh

Anyone got any get- rich- quick schemes?

Sometimes life deals you a blow that gets you thinking for a while. Here's me wingeing about turning into an old crone while one of my closest friends tries to claw back even the smallest part of his former life. As a consequence I am feeling massively guilty - firstly for actually having a life and secondly for lusting after shoes when I could be spending the money on a flight to see him. I tell you, it's put me off getting my teeth whitened until at least after Christmas.

Wrong brand but you get my drift
When I was a wine buyer for a retailer I struck up a strong friendship with a short South African guy called Louis. He won't mind me calling him short - he was fully aware of it and made up for his slightly reduced stature by sporting a particularly fine collection of brightly coloured Pumas  - only a pair at a time obviously. We hit it off instantly, probably because he came from my then favourite country in the whole world (I'm very fickle - it's now New Zealand) and partly because he enjoyed a glass of wine or 8. Don't believe a word people say - as a buyer you favour those suppliers who you get on with most and they end up doing better out of you. The Boy can attest to this. He was one of my suppliers at said retailer and I thought he was a nob so I delisted his wines and cancelled our meetings. It was only when I needed an excuse for a meeting in London and he was the only one who agreed to meet late on a Friday afternoon that I thought he had potential. That and the particularly fine bottle of sherry he handed over. Anyway, to cut a long story short, Louis and I became firm friends, had many big nights out and ended up working for ourselves together. It was only when he didn't return my calls or emails for a few weeks that I realised something was seriously wrong. Eventually his friends in South Africa tracked me down and told me he'd been in a bad accident in Spain, in a coma for 6 weeks and was badly injured.

That was 2 years ago. His family moved him back to Jo'burg and he slowly started to recover some of his mobility but I know he was enormously frustrated - he told me he had to learn everything from scratch again and I'm not sure he's ever managed to wear the Havaianas I sent him to encourage him back to the surf. Now I hear he's had a massive stroke and is back to square one. How on earth is that fair?

The point of this is (and I know this isn't a very cheery one), your mates are very important. Especially the vertically challenged ones who wear orange and turquoise footwear and like to say "What you told Bob?" a lot, even if your name's not Bob. Especially if your name's not Bob. I appreciate today I bought a new camera (a birthday present to myself from the children) but somehow I will have to find a few hundred quid to fund a flight to SA.

I could go down the barracks and become a lady of negotiable affection but I hit 40 tomorrow and I may now be a little on the senior side. I could ebay all my shoes but I'm always put off by having to pack them up and take them to the post office. Any other suggestions would be most gratefully received.

Louis, if you're reading this, I'll see you on the beach in Jeffrey's Bay and mine's a glass of Sauvignon. A large one.

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