A meeting of minds, shoes and Jenny Packham wedding gowns

We all think we are unique in this world don’t we, even when we choose our partners and friends whose shared interests and views spark against ours and a bond is formed. Sometimes these bonds form over years, some over a few minutes, a conversation, a throw away comment, a reach out for the same magazine or chocolate bar at the corner shop or petrol station, we instantly recognise at that moment that something has happened and we  can count our blessings that there is someone else, someone like you with a shared guily pleasure of Reeces Peanut  Butter Cups, Valerian tea or a 5 pm treat of the re-runs of Star Trek  on some obscure TV channel ( that you though no-one les could possibly subscribe to- yes Rocksey  I mean you on the latter)!!

Last week, well on Monday to be exactly precise, this happened to me.

I travel around a fair deal with my day job and meet a lot of different people. There are a couple of offices I go to on a regular basis and over the past few months have become friendly  with some of the staff there, not in any great chatty, pally way but enough to say hello, exclaim over iphone photos of cute kittens and drooly babies and make small talk without feeling awkward (I am the epitome of Awkward although I like to think I hide it quite well  usually Rocksey outshines everyone so no one feels awkward in his presence-everyone is included in the conversation and he can make the shyest wallflower bloom under his golden gaze). 

A few weeks ago, I got into a small talk conversation with a girl in one of the offices I visit, about the same age and probably as tall ( always good to have women friends of a similar height – thats an ‘awkwardy’ thing from being 14 and towering over everyone (including teachers) in class, having to stoop to hear whispered conversations and getting neck ache from dating boys who were at least a foot smaller ( eventually some of them get taller….), us tall girls dream of meeting a 6’2” ( or more) scandanavian  blond God who we could look up to whilst wearing 5″ heels.

The tall girl ( Hi. I’m Jen by the way), complimented me on my choice of footwear (Valentino Rock Stud flats)  and how it was difficult to have comfy shoes and be stylish at the same time. I used to be a Heel wearer and could, possibly, have run for a bus in them, so used I was to wearing them very day. However, once I stopped having to wear power suits and heels to work I sort of regressed to a Haviana/Birkenstock kinda girl and the heels were put back into boxes and then found their way into the wardrobe where they stay, only the glitterati are brought out on occasion for big nights out or when I am certain no walking will be required. However, I have found a need for smart flat shoes running around now and for driving and no matter how much I love them , I still feel I cannot be taken seriously in a work situation if I am wearing pink fit flops.

Jen and  I bonded over shoes and the following week when I arrived, she offered me a cup of dandelion and burdock tea ( real stuff in a teapot not from a dustbag!!). I was hooked, I mentioned chickens, she kept them too, we discussed gardens, growing veg, keeping bees and the joys of home baked bread and fresh butter. She ( later confessed) nick named me the ‘chicken coop lady’ in conversations with her husband to be as I offered her a DIY pattern for making a chicken coop which I had presented Rocksey with last year and am still waiting for said coop to materialise. Shyly on  Monday over a cup of hibiscus and marshflower tea she showed me the Jenny Packham gown she had coveted for her forthcoming nuptials confessing that it was far too expensive but loved it so much she just had to have it. 

‘Where are you having the reception? ‘ I asked. Jen mentioned a bar that I knew of but had never been. Its a place close to Marsh and Melodies adopted town and somewhere that puts on the occasional band and live music night. Oh I know that – I said. Have you been there? Jen asks. I shake my head- no. ‘Its Shanes place’ she says proudly ‘ he owns it’. 

OMG! I almost spit out my mouthful of hibiscus and marshflower tea. Does he play in Northtown Assignation? I name a band, well known for its cover versions of classic Punk tunes, The  Clash, Ramones etc. They are a good band ( if you like that sort of thing) and always pull a good home crowd. Jen beams widely – yes she nods- do you know him? Well no not personally but my husband does  – and then it comes out that Rocksey is my husband and we slowly piece together that we have mutual friends in common, have been to the same gigs, probably even rubbed shoulders at a  bar or two, and then excitedly delve back into the past where we have shared crushes on the same guys, listended to the same music, wore similar hair styles , clothes and shoes. Good God we even have pictures of the same people from the early ’80’s on Facebook albums entitled ‘Blast from the Past’ and ‘Those were the Days”. 

Ha! fast forward 20 or so years and here we are, two similar age women with similar tastes in shoes, tea, chickens, gardens and bearing the scars of long time relationships with our rock n roll husbands. I show Jen a wedding photo with me in a similar Jenny Packham gown and  we share the broadest grin …..I can feel this   friendship is going to run and run………….


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