Inverness to Penzance

The longest single train journey in the UK used to be the Inter-City journey from Inverness to Penzance.  As I recall, it was 11 hours long.  That was in the days before smartphones, laptops, portable DVD players, mp3 players.  The Walkman perosnal stereo was around, but on average each cassette held only about 12 tracks.  Bring a few broadsheet newspapers and a good, thick paperback.  The Russian classics should suffice, eg War and Peace or Brothers Karamazov (neither of which I have read).

Friendships are like the passengers on that train.  People get on, get off, make small talk wtih you.  Now and again, you might swap business cards, hook up on Facebook, whatever…  Some people travel the whole way with you, while others only travel down a couple of stations and then head off elsewhere.

Last month, I decided it was time to delete from my address book my friend, VY, who I’d known since the summer of 1993.  Delete all her contact details:

  • Mobile number
  • WhatsApp details
  • Facebook connection
  • Landline
  • Snail mail address and all emails

So many ways to contact people…

I didn’t do it with anger.  I wasn’t upset.  VY was a great friend and confidante.  She was much more like a sister to me than my own sister.

But there comes a point when you realise the friendship you thought was going to be Inverness-Penzance has picked up its suitcase and rucksack and got off somewhere on the way.  Over the last ten years, I’ve learnt not to chase friendships.  People grow apart.  Allow them to fade away and don’t keep it on a ball on chain.  I’ve learnt that in those circumstances, you have to move on and look forward.

I wish VY and her young family all the best.  She was a great friend.  But she’s now past tense for me.

Have a friendly day, won’t you!


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