This is a little tribute to my bff.
It's her birthday today and the last year or so hasn't been easy for her, and yet she keeps thinking of me, and helping me out and visiting and really, I could never thank Pandy enough for all the things her, and her family have done for me over the years.
We met at nursey school when we were 5.
We then both went to St. Hilary's School, Sevenoaks. And even though we were in different classes, we would see a lot of each other at weekends.
When my mother was very ill (I was 11 or 12), I went to live with her family for a few months.
One day, when her mother was dropping us off at school, she handed us our bags from the boot of the car and said - here you go Andy Pandy (for Amanda) and Oni Poni (for Fiona).
I have called Amanda Pandy ever since (some of you will have heard this name often around here), and what I love is that only I call her Pandy.
I think it's quite fortunate that I don't get called Poni ! - to Amanda and her family I am Fee Fee.
We have lived very different lives. After school, I went to Art College and Amanda went to Finishing School, to learn manners and etiquette, though from the stories she told me, it sounded like one big party !
She got finished off good and proper, as she knows what knife and fork to use and has a great appreciation of alcoholic beverages, especially dry white wine !
We sometimes haven't seen each other for a year at a time, and when I went travelling it was Pandy's parents who told me that if I wanted to come home, at any time, they would pay for the flight.
I went for a year and a half, and never made the call, but it was Pandy who I saw first, when I got home.
Pandy's style is so different to mine - you won't find any shabby shit (her phrase, not mine) in her house, but our common interest has always been interiors.
This is Pandy's dining room.
This is mine.....................
Hmmmm, It's a work in progress, as is the living-room -
Whereas, this is where Pandy and her family entertain !
Yup, our lives have been very different, but we have always been the best of friends. Pandy thinks we'll end up living together in our twilight years. She thinks we'll be like the Ladies in Lavender - a British film about two sisters who live by the sea in Cornwall. The Maggie Smith character is rather domineering and bossy and the Judi Dench character is rather daft and dreamy.
We haven't quite decided who will be who, as we both tend to drift between both of these descriptions. However, I am rather bossy, and I'm convinced that Pandy's favourite tipple will take it's toll eventually !!
Pandy and her mother are especially generous with gifts as well, and I was going to show you the amazing presents I've had (not just on birthdays), but I've run out of time, and I want to post this.
If I need something, they do their best to find me it, and if I like something - they find me that too.
I was recently given six amazing dining-room chairs, a printer's block tray (I've wanted one for years), a gorgeous glass jar for my kitchen.
Over the years I've had furniture, a dryer, curtain fabrics, a chandelier, a bathroom suite - the list is endless.
My life is better for having a best friend like Pandy - not because I've received amazing things, but because she knows me better than I know myself sometimes. She understands me, she listens and she doesn't judge. She would do anything for me and she is the most loyal person I know.
Thank you honey, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
The last time we made an effort, on her sons 18th birthday in April this year - not quite yet over the hill !