This week on the gratitude challenge I'm talking about those special people who make you feel welcome in a new place.
Making new friends is always hard. You've got to find a place for yourself among groups of people who've sometimes known each other since they were little kids. You don't know the in jokes, you don't know the places to go, and having someone that takes you under their wing is just awesome.
So, today I'd like to give a shout out to:
Chocolatey Clare - who danced with me, when no-one else would at a disco in the Isle of Man, and convinced me that I would be welcome if I moved there. She wasn't right, but she was kind, and I won't forget it.
Clare sadly died in an accident a few short years after this happened, causing me to go back to the island for her funeral, and stay another year. It was her fault islanders! But don't worry, I don't plan on coming back again.
I will remember her for reaching out to me, and for her infectious giggle, her army surplus shirts, and her constant supply of Marlboro. She was a wonderful, warm person, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who mourns her loss.
Three good friends helped me settle in in Suffolk: Cate, Angela, and Jo all had sons the same age as mine, and would follow up with daughters. They had a regular rythmn of playdates and toddler groups, plus Thursday morning coffee at Waitrose (how I miss that), which they fit me right in to, helping me to quickly feel at home in glorious sunny Suffolk. Thank you ladies, and let's always keep in touch.
After Suffolk I moved to Moffat, a gorgeous little town surrounded by hills. There I was made welcome by Sheila, who introduced me to everyone she could find, or so it seemed, and always made sure that I, and everyone else at the toddler groups she went to, was not alone. Sheila also organised end of term nights out for Mums. Always a success. Often hilarious. She's an incredible woman. Mother of four, Minister's wife (that's Scottish for Vicar btw - not an MP), brilliant photographer (check out her instagram account), and now also student nurse. Not to mention that she can absolutely rock a denim pencil skirt.
We all need someone to welcome us from time to time, let's try to be the welcoming person, because it makes such a big difference.