Untitled photo

Jamie Holland Green and jumping to Eden Rock

A musing on friendship

I have two hands, and I can just about put within those two sets of fingers and thumbs, the amount of friends I have. And they're people I love and trust. Some have been there year in, year out; year after year; you can read elsewhere on this site how my best mate Adrian stopped me chucking myself under a train at Portsmouth Hard which I had every intention of doing, and how about 25 years ago he and his wife picked me up off the pavement where I was slumped in a drunken diabetic hypo and took me to A and E. They had come looking for me, driving around after closing time, because Clare always gets this ‘feeling’ about when I’m in trouble and despite all the multitude of shit and grief I’ve given her for years, she never gives up caring.

I probably would have died in that hypo if my best mates hadn’t have come for me. I remember drifting in and out of consciousness, hearing the cars slowing down to look at me, then driving off. Some people even got out of their cars and came up to me, then decided to ‘leave it’ because they thought I was dead.

I gave up drinking that night.

And that's only one of the times my best mates Clare and Ade have saved my life.

A few years back, I got really hurt by some people. Some people I had let into my life for a couple of years, which whom I had shared secrets and thoughts. And when they dropped me out of the friendship group like a lead weight over the side of a tower - virtually overnight - (it was that sudden), I was completely devastated.

I didn’t understand why. But there were shit stirrers who I think put pay to those friendships. Spreading poison. And lies. And the fucking about of relationships and the forcing people in the friendship group to take 'sides'. These people were not very nice. But what could I do? Only delete them from FB and block them forever. Only defence I had.

For about a year, I was pretty screwed up over this because I don't make friends easily and I really had let a few people into my confidence; I hurt so badly. I had to vow to never let 'people' and 'stuff' get into my head ever again, never let anyone new get close and hurt me. Keep every new person I met on this planet at arm's length.

It was a vow that lasted all of five minutes - as almost immediately after I had decided this - I fell in love with Jay.

Definitely one of those guys I still really care about.  For a time I missed him kind of a lot as he loved all the same things as me, and he made me laugh - was just so bloody sarcastic and funny – and I felt he really ‘got’ me. And he was kind, and he was sensitive and on the same level as me intellectually. We were just so bloody similar it was ridiculous.  I thought the world of him as I do the rest of my closest and bestest of which I considered him one.

But we're a couple of hundred miles apart now, and last time I saw him, we were stood on the banks of Eden Rock with a gulf of fast flowing water between us carrying away the debris of our friendship. I was wanting him to jump onto Eden Rock and be there again, making me laugh and having my back. But he just didn’t. And I realised, and I know this now, that I will probably never see my mate again. Life has moved on. And he didn't care enough about that friendship to build me a dam and stop the friendship from washing away. Because he's just like me. I let the water flow by too. And I never jump because it’s too hard.

But it doesn't hurt anymore. (Maybe)

It's several years later and the shit stirrers are gone and some of the people I mention are still there, albeit at a distance. They talk to me again (sort of) and one of the guys emailed me once and said he missed our friendship. And I kind of realise now they never meant to hurt me. Probably don't even know that they did. Because they're good people - I do know that. They're genuine people. And they've been through utter shit themselves. And I am partly to blame for that gulf and that fast flowing stream that carries so much stuff into oblivion because I am so shit at keeping in touch with people. I just didn’t bother because I was just so hung up on the hurt.The hurt cut deeply.

But it doesn’t explain why. And now I don’t want to know. Not now.

So. Anyway. In the last few years, I’m looking at new people who want to befriend me with a renewed kind of suspicion. Because throughout my life I have been hurt time and time and time again by the people who were meant to have loved me the most. But I'm done with them now. Over it. Time to move on right? But I still have that arm stretched out (my good arm) ready to push each and every one of the new people I meet away because I don’t want to get hurt again.I keep vowing to myself that I am never going to let anyone hurt me again.  And if that means I have to push all of them away, so be it.

December 2016 and it's goodbye to Norfolk after an 'interesting' two years here. I never meant to make any mates, but there's two brothers who are absolutely salt of the earth, who make me laugh and who I will sincerely miss and what a tragedy because I'm only just getting to make friends again. Musicians who play the same stuff as Jay. So they share that understanding of being afflicted with ‘guitarism’ and the constant gnaw inside the marrow of their souls to make music.

I laughed the other day when all four of us were having lunch at the Marriot in Kings Lynn because Jamie Holland Green said 'We're the Keepin' it Real club'. Me and Jamie had been walking around the town on what I called a ‘Goodbye Norfolk Grot tour’ taking pictures of shit – like posters for the Proclaimers who were playing a gig in the town. And the week before that, we’d done the same thing around Hunstanton laughing at shit that no-one else finds funny.

And I said to Jamie I really wanted to write again. That I had gone full circle and started writing as a kid - shit and immature though it was - then, for the last 15 years or so, I've been taking photos, and now I finally feel I can do both.

And we were sat on the comfy sofas upstairs in the Marriot looking out at the Great Ouse on a very bleak winter’s day and Jamie looked right into my face over his cappuccino and said 'Julieanne, it's your therapy'. Like he had known me my entire life. Like he had put a fishing line down my throat and pulled out exactly what I needed to know. And all of a sudden the Ouse looked very inspiring and I knew that one day, when the time was right, I could jump across it to Eden Rock.

So I want to keep you as my friend Jamie because you kind of 'get' this whole thing about living.  (Plus you make me laugh and you mend my bike which helps as well .)

But most of all, I want to finish that shed