That's what friends are for

Back in 1995, when I was in my early twenties and working for the advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather, I met 6 amazing, inspirational women who I am proud & privileged to still have in my life now.

In fact, all the best friendships I have now can be clearly defined by four periods in my life – the Ogilvy years, the Sydney years, the Courtenay years & the Panagiotis years.

I met Lindsay Lou, Nicky Noo, Marnie, Donna, Katie & Susy during the Ogilvy years.  Lins, Marns and Donna all live overseas now (NY, Brisbane & Dublin respectively), Noo is still on her 3-month trip of a lifetime around the globe (jealous much?) , Katie lives the opposite end of London and Susy is out in Bucks, so we don’t often get to see each other these days.  Weddings, christenings and sadly this week, a memorial service for Susy’s dear darling daddy, are the events that have recently brought us together.

With a couple of bottles of sauvignon blanc chilling in the fridge for Donna and Panagiotis on domestic god(dess) duty at home, I set off from work to meet her at Heathrow airport, as Donna is to be our first house guest in the new pad!

Donna & Susy are very close.  It was Donna who called Katie and I to tell us of the news of Susy’s bereavement.  Donna is godmother to Susy’s son, Billy, and they speak often.  A very special relationship has grown between them over the years.  Their bond was sealed the first week they met, at a work event at The Groucho Club, when Donna had a few too many sauvignon blancs (although we were probably all still drinking chardonnay back in those days) and Susy had to take her home (via A&E but that’s a whole other blog post…)

The memorial service at Chelsea Old Church was beautiful.  A very touching tribute to a great great man.  Susy did a reading, which would have made her father very proud.  She loved her daddy so much and her grief at losing him is heartbreaking for us all to see.  I felt very honoured to be there.  At the reception afterwards, we  caught up with many old faces, many new faces, and all behaved like 22 year olds again and quite unintentionally, got off our faces!  Sitting in a small corner of the church, just yards away from where Henry VIII got married (very posh church!), a small breakaway group of Susy’s closest friends sat and talked.  The lovely caterers discovered us there and added our little huddle to their canape and champagne rounds, eventually leaving us with a couple of platters of food and a few bottles of bubbly.

Hanging in rags the day after.  Fortunately, Donna and I had lunch with Katie booked in so steadied our shaky hands with a pizza and 3 diet cokes each. Back when I really was in my early twenties, it would take us half an hour to recover from a big night out, but these days it takes half a week to recover from 2 glasses of wine.  It’s pathetic!  I’m just relieved I didn’t spill anything all over our new cream living room carpet when we crawled home at 10pm.  Zachy, however, did tinkle all over it this morning.


  1. Donna Callan
    April 2, 2011 / 5:18 PM

    Smudgelet! I am just home and feeling rather sad and flat after my lovely few days in London. However, reading your fantastic blog has cheered me up no end. It’s wonderful and I am going to be a regular follower from now on. It will be a great way to keep in touch with you and find out how life is treating you, gorgeous Zachy and Pan. You always were a great writer and I’m delighted to see you putting your considerable talents into a more public arena. Thanks so much for making me feel so welcome, being a warm and generous hostess and a wonderful friend. All my love, Donna xxx

  2. Lindsay Owen
    April 2, 2011 / 9:54 PM

    just wanted to say i love you x

  3. Noo
    April 3, 2011 / 1:11 AM

    Poor Suze! Hope she is ok. Please give her my love. Back soon lovely lady – let’s get a drinking date in the diary – I’ve missed everyone

  4. Susy French
    April 4, 2011 / 7:36 PM

    Oh My God Smudge. I am stuck in an 80’s time warp when it comes to new things like this. You sent me the link and I didn’t know what it was. Just opened it now and you write so beautifully. Facebook is still beyond me. Such lovely lovely words, clever girl. Meant so much to me you being there, still getting over it! Love you lots x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.