The packing boxes arrive tomorrow.

I’ve been squeezed in on Monday, by the lovely mechanic at the garage. The catch on my boot has gone. He fixed my last car and now he fixes my current car.

Because things happen all at once; the bath leaked. I called the plumber.  We used to be work colleagues. He’s very reliable. He called me straight back even though he was busy.  He asks me how Noo is and we chat about life before discussing the pool of water in the dinning room.

A friend and I were having a conversation about leaving friends. There are the ‘oak tree friends’, the ones whose lives are very much part of mine. They are sturdy and supportive. Their branches provide comfort and shade in good times and bad. Solid friendships. Saying goodbye will be hard but the roots of our friendships are deep and that will continue.

There are the people I bump into in the street, people I’ve known for years; climbers, old work colleagues, neighbours, other parents from baby groups. Familiar acquaintances that make a place my community.

The social friends. You know those relaxed dinners out? With women you’ve known for years? A collection of great women, whose lives over lap, some closer friends than others. Different friendships within a bigger group. With some there is regular contact, with others once every few months, or maybe once a year. Common themes, friends, lives, threads which make easy company. I had one of those dinners this week.

Back to the conversation with my friend. She described those familiar people at the periphery of life here as touchstones. She put it perfectly; when I move, I will lose my touchstones.

Any tips for finding new ones?


  1. rightfromthestart

    Having moved countries 6 mths ago I too have lost my touchstones. The reality of this recently hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t have advice I’m afraid, I’ve made aquaintances but no-one as yet that I would class as a friend. I spend far too many hours glued to Facebook in an attempt to feel connected.
    Thanks for touching me on a particularly tough day.
    Good luck with everything, TRUE friends will remain you just have to miss their hugs at times. X

  2. Ali C-S (@Over_A_Cuppa)

    Oh packing boxes, lovely,lovely 🙂

    If you are someone who is open to ‘Touchstones’ as you are then they will find you 🙂

    Wise words from me *drinking Earl Grey with blurry eyes* on a Saturday morning 😉 x x x

  3. Midlife Singlemum

    I also think of the touchstones when I think about moving. The people I meet in the street as I’m walking to and from school, round the shops, in the park, even at the supermarket checkout. People who acknowledge me and we exchange a few pleasantries and a smile. Sometimes a chat. They know me and I know them, if not intimately.
    I think you’ll make new touchstones in the same way you made these – by being chatty (not too chatty – don’t want to frighten them off :)) whenever you’re out an about. Good luck and enjoy the challenge! Remember that this may be your forever place.

  4. Asturian Diary

    I have found being a parent a fast-track into a deeper place in the community. Noo and his new friendships, new school and activities will help speed you to replacement touchstones. That plus, of course, your own interests and hobbies. Perhaps there may be some bloggers you could connect with in your new area? I’ve heard they’re a supportive lot 😉 x

  5. Molly @ Mother's Always Right

    Keep blogging! And hang on until I move further west – those dinners sound right up my street. Seriously though, you’re moving to a place full of the kind of people I know you will love. It’s creative, arty and full of inspiring people. You are funny, witty and a pleasure to be around. You will meet new friends and keep your old ones. The net widens and a new community will develop around you. This is what I’m telling myself anyway.

  6. Older Mum (@Older_Mum)

    Gosh the move is almost here! I like the concept of ‘oak tree’ friends – they are usually the ones you can count on your hand – friends for life (hopefully). Moving is a really big deal – but you will meet lots of new people in your new town, and new opportunities will open up to you. X. best of luck!

  7. An Exeter Mum

    Have met some lovely people since moving due to sharing common ground with my sons needs. I think you kind of have to throw yourself in at the deepend a bit in seeking out the things you love doing and hoping you will meet someone like minded along the way. I have met a couple of touchstones I’d say but still looking in a lazy kind of hopeful stumbling along kind of way for the special ones x

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