Friendship

Thursday, 6 February 2014
Tulips1
cake-saltedcaramel cake-assortment coffee-tea coffee-table coffee-friend coffee-flowers

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

If it weren't for the small network of wonderful and supportive women here, I don't know how I'd manage. When my friend Tara came to my place for dinner, she brought along a bag full of desserts. And then she pulled out a bouquet of tulips and handed them to me. "I bought this for you because I know how much you like photographing flowers". Her thoughtful gesture warmed my heart and will be remembered long after the flowers have died.

Oftentimes, months go by before I realized that I haven't caught up with a friend. Even one who lives down the road from me. If anything, the last two decades have taught me a lot about mortality. Friends and relatives who'd suddenly passed on, family members who had successfully beaten cancer and others who didn't. Life is short. And precious.

Over the years, I've stayed in touch with old friends, made new friends, learned to deal with friends who weren't particularly nice, talked to numerous strangers, gained a little wisdom so I can discern better.......... As I listened to them, I've learned that every person has an extraordinary tale to tell.

Many of you have been silent readers of this blog. Perhaps, you've interacted with me. I'd like to get to know you better. Tell me something about yourself. I'd love to hear your story.




19 comments:

  1. Hi Marlene! I'm one of your silent readers. First time posting. I love your blog. The photography, the subject matter, the honesty and down-to-earth writing. My story is that I grew up on a farm in Canada, and at the age of 13 had a pen friend from England. By the time I was 18, I had saved up enough money to go see her all by myself. First time flying. That was a huge deal for a farm kid! We have since visited each other both in Canada and England, and travelled to many cities and countries together, several times over the last 30 years. So I share your love of travel and of England, and of friendship! I'm so impressed that you and your family have braved a new life in a new country. You are very inspiring. Thank you for your contribution to the Internet.

    -Laurel from Canada

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    1. Hi Laurel, thank your for sharing your story. That's incredible that you have a friendship that lasted more than 30 years and you both started as pen friends. Most people I know (including myself) have one but none survived the 1-2 year mark.

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  2. Hi. I am one of your anonymous readers too. My story is that I have turned my life around after escaping from my abusive ex. My ex didn't make it easy for me to have friends and I lost most of my old ones. I am slowly gaining confidence (after 5 years) and making new friends in my new community but sometimes when my confidence is low - it's nice to have a friendly blog to read. It's like having a friend to chat with - about holidays, clothes, family life. AND I love your photography.
    Thank you for being my anonymous friend, as I am yours.

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    1. Thank you for the courage to write. I'm sure it wasn't easy to speak about your past. I'm sure there are many silent readers who are touched by your words and perhaps inspire them to break free from equally abusive relationship.

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  3. I'm not an anon reader and I'm not sure what my story is but I have to say I absolutely love yours and your blog - keep up the good work - it's amazing :-)

    Fiona
    xxx

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  4. I have never been annonymous, but feel that I need to tell you something that I have always felt and have never told you. Yes, Iove your posts, I love this post. I love your blog. Yes, I love your amazing photography (the best in the blogging world that I have seen) and I love the content. Just like you have felt you haven't always been able to stay connected to all of your friends near or far, I can certainly relate. Even in this blogosphere, I have many people that I would consider friends- even though I have never "met" them in real life. I haven't been able to always stay connected with friends in this huge blogosphere, esp in the past year. I missed being able to read every single post almost every single day- remember how ecstatic I would get when you'd write about hermes or isabel marant- or even better yet post your VERY SELDOM outfit posts- where you'd sometimes even wear a litto H or I M. I admire you, because my blog is very superficial ( I intend it ot be that way ) and I rarely talk about anything personal it is only about fashion or clothing, food and diys. It took a lot of courage to finally make a blog and u were one of the first readers that gave me so much insporation and confidence. I'll never forget your feature on me which made not just my day or week, but entire month. So you see, you don't have to be at arms reach to impact someone's life- you have touched many. =) xo

    Ps- omg cakes!!!!!!!! your friend made those for you??? Well deserved <3

    www.thehautecookie.com

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    1. S, I echo your sentiment here. I too write on a more superficial level as I find it hard to open up about the more personal elements of my life but I have Marlene to thank for her encouragement and kind comments which kept me going at the beginning. Would I be where I am without her support? I'm not so sure.

      Marlene. Thank you.

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    2. Sooae, as I'd mentioned in my tweet to you. I was floored and deeply touched by your comment. If anything, your words have helped me realize how important it is to support each other. I'll save your comment and read it again on days when I'm feeling down. And because they've given me a sense of purpose. Thank you.

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    3. Forgive me for being late to the post here...but I wanted to just say that I, too, love this blog, and really feel like you are a friend, as goofy as that is since I've never met you, and don't even comment that often :) Thanks for all your hard work (yes, it is work, I know!) in keeping up the blog, and in making meaningful connections with your readers...although your style is awesome, I think it is your personality and genuine heart that keeps us coming back :)

      Alissa

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    4. You've certainly put a smile on my face today, Alissa. Thank you. It's always a tough decision to either uphold my code of ethics versus going mainstream (in other words, popular). Thank you ever so much for saying it because there's a lot of work and money going into maintaining a blog with very little return. Many bloggers will say that it's the people that make them continue blogging, more so than anything else.

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  5. Well I am not anonymous, what for and you know I can have a sharp mouth sometimes in my comments so I trust you know where I come from!!! How did I first know your blog, I do not remember. All I can say is that I wanted to broaden my range of blog to something from England and there you were. And do not regret it as you are showing us a part of England which is not London (no indeed...). I mean that I was fed up fashion blogs with all the same kind of style. And let me make my coming-out: you have a beautiful smile, the kind that lighten one face when it appears, this is a rare gift! And I am petite (yes I insist, petite, not short), word which I learned about when I was stydying in English. Our fashion style is different, although you have never seen me but I do like the way you wear your clothes because they are you. And I like your words and your pictures and your no-nonsense thoughts. I lived in England several years although not in a raw and I've been working with a pack of English Brownies along with the only pack of girls guides from my country in London: let just say it was an interesting experience to compare both way of leanving scout spirit. I try to never miss one of your blog post (you are in my smartphone feeder) and comment more often whenever I have something worth writing (well sometimes I should not). And last but far from the least, you come from New Zealand... yes I am only interested in that of course!! I am just trying to emigrate to NZ for some years now but hell that is not easy when you are well above 45 (now) and without anyone waiting for you. I have been dreaming about NZ since the end of the eighties, not new. Thanks for the good work and thank you for your blog. And thank you for the link about the Barbour, I really appreciate the time you dedicated to it (oops not sure I can write this, I need to improve my english vocabulary).

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    1. I had no idea you wanted to immigrate to NZ. It certainly is harder to get into the country now than it was 20 something years ago especially with the point system.

      Thank you for the kind words. I'm certainly more comfortable behind the camera. Actually, I find the whole photo shoot thing painful so thank you again for being so supportive.

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  6. Hi, I am an anonymous reader. I just worked my way through the whole of your blog as a distraction following the death of my young son. Your comment about life being precious resonate and prompted me to write. I like the fact you address more serious topics and also make reference to your faith - something I have been pondering a lot recently since my son's death.

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    1. It just breaks my heart reading your story. Losing your child is every parent's nightmare. ((hugs)) I can't even imagine what you must be going through right now. My faith is what got me through a lot of ups and downs in my life. I hope it'll be the same for you.

      p.s. will definitely include you in my prayers tonight.

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  7. HI Marlene - I'm a recent follower of your blog and found it via an Instagram post. Like yourself, I was also born in Borneo but emigrated to Australia as a young child. In my mid 20s, my partner and I headed over to London where we found ourselves staying for nearly a decade. After we found out I was pregnant, we upped sticks and moved back to Australia again, where I've been trying to settle back. It's been quite hard to find my stride again as I feel that home is in London after nearly a decade and although coming back to Oz where the family is, things have changed and so have people. I was missing All things British when I stumbled across your blog and reading it has helped. So that's my story so far. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself - it puts a smile on my face when I get 5 mins to myself to indulge with my daily reads.

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    1. Hi Valerie, thank you for sharing your story. I think we belong to a new breed called The Global Citizen where we don't feel like we belong to any country because our roots are spread everywhere. I've always found that it's hard to recapture my memories of a place because it changes and so do the people. I can't imagine moving back to Borneo and like you, with family permanently based in Australasia, it's only logical that we make our way back there someday. But right now, London is calling :)

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