Friendship circles and when loyalty lies.


There is a general sentiment in life that, when the going gets tough, you find out who your real friends are.

I’m not sure that’s entirely true, as a ‘friend’ will be there through all times, whereas those who crawl out during a drama (whether it’s yours or theirs) are not always to be trusted.

Part of this depends I suppose on your definition of ‘friend’ and, in particular, your need of them. We tend to have circles of friends. The outer circle is that of acquaintance, the inner circle denotes deeper friendship, and the centre is comprised of our dearest, real friends. The ones whom you wholly trust, and who can wholly trust you.

We all have bickerings from time to time and fallings out, or disagreements, but if you ever meet someone who is willing to be disloyal about those who take centre court in their own friendship circle, then of course you know you’re onto a losing thing. I remember once speaking to someone who told me, within 48 hours of finding out themselves, that their oldest friend was having an affair. I heard the intimate details, the snide comments, and then immediately decided that I would never share anything beyond the superficial with them myself. After all, this was not simply a minor moan. This was the imparting of life-wrecking material, highly confidential, not gossip fodder. Loyalty that lies is no loyalty at all.

The most basic fact of human life, aside from our mortality, is probably our diversity. Each of us is complex in our own ways, nobody knows what goes on inside your mind (imagine if they did…) and we all have moments of ‘aargh’ with one another, we say things we regret and things that are not kind. There’s simply no way around this, but if someone is at the very centre of our friendship circle, then hopefully they generate true loyalty within us.

The crux of both platonic and romantic love, and therefore at the absolute core of our friendship circle, can probably be defined by the ability to feel totally at ease with that person or those people. To truly see, and be seen. To have nothing to hide, no front to put on, and no pretense, or airs, or graces. To be up-front, honest about our own situations, our wishes and hopes, and to feel comfortable enough to show who we really are, without fear of condemnation or judgment.

If there is someone in your life with whom you are able to be your utter and honest self, then hold on tight. Out of all the rest, they’re the keeper.


Pompey Camaraderie 

My family went to Manor Infant School’s summer fair last weekend, and had a fantastic day in the sunshine, the wind, and the rain.

It was a typical British summer’s day with a plethora of weather fronts, but the thing that stood out the most was that rather than not coming at all, or scarpering at the first rain drop, the families stayed put and enjoyed the day.

The sense of true Pompey community was there for all to see, from the camaraderie of the families, the huge effort from the staff, and the fact that a new nursery is being built so that from September, children can attend the same school from aged 2 – 7. Wonderful to see.


Gove. Say no more.

(Thankfully, since I whisked this off to my editors, the little weasel is out of the prime ministerial running… whoop!)

This year’s GCSE results are still more than a month away but many parents, not to mention employers, may not be aware that from next summer, students will no longer be awarded an A*-G grade.

Instead, your grade will come in the form of a number, with 9 as the highest and 1 as the lowest.

The government have not told teachers exactly what these grades will constitute – a 9 for example is around the equivalent of an A**, something that doesn’t even exist at the moment, and is probably as easy to achieve as a glimpse of Brigadoon.

We can thank Michael Gove for this. Worryingly indicative of the chaos that could occur should he become Prime Minister.

First published in The Portsmouth News on Saturday 9th July 2016


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