We have known each other forever. I was introduced to Sue by the midwife at antenatal classes, Helen moved in next door not long afterwards, I shared a school run with Jane and met Caroline through postnatal classes. In the intervening years our children have gone to different schools, Caroline has been abroad and family commitments and jobs have got in the way of spending together. Today we met for tea to celebrate all sorts of things - new jobs, house moves, plans for early retirement, holidays. Sitting by the fire, listening to the laughter, it seemed like a miracle to me that our friendship has survived the lean periods when we have been too busy to see each other and I was so grateful for these wonderful, enterprising, funny women that I am fortunate enough to have as friends.