Old friends

Pat Baldwin, Somerset West

I read the article “This 70-year friendship still going strong” (Bolander March 23) with interest, but have to advise that my friendship with my lifelong friend Suzanne goes way beyond that.

We have just turned 82 years young, she is exactly five weeks older than me and I never ever let her forget it! Have been friends for ever.

Once somebody asked us, are you sisters and we both looked at each other and she said, “Oh hell no she is just my friend” and we both collapsed laughing.

I live here in Somerset West South Africa, she is in Dover, Kent England, yet we are closer than ever. We speak on the phone , Skype every week, and know each other like the back of our hands.

We were always together when I lived in England…

People thought that when I had to come out here with my family to live we would forget each other, but that did not stop us.

At first we wrote letters, which took ages and ages to get there and back by boat, then air, then special phone calls, trunk calls they were called in those days.

We have been rocks in both our lives, ups and downs and people cannot believe how close we are, we finish each other’s sentences we have total ESP, I would give the shirt off my back for her and I know she would do the same for me.

She has been out here numerous times and we would go travelling around seeing sights etc. Never had a cross word or argument, like the same things, adore wild life and animals and can talk the hind leg off a donkey.

Like me she has a passion for whales and dolphins, and the first time we came to the Cape, it took me three days to get to Cape Point, as she got out to walk along the road watching the whales.

I would park the car a way in front get out and stand and wait for her thinking, OK she will get in the car now… no way, off she would go… “see you along the way,” she shouted.

We have had so many many laughs, tears, adventures, talking of the old days and the school days etc, never stopping for breath literally.

She was, still is, part and parcel of my family, and she is constantly spoken of and so loved.

One time driving down to Ramsgate Natal, I remarked, could you have imagined two little girls, only having family and an excellent education, living in the aftermath of the war, now having our own cars! (we never ever imagined driving one let alone owning one), our own homes and having trips to see each other.

It is truly amazing and at times we still pinch ourselves. Money we don’t have, never had, but that was the norm for everybody, but memories – priceless.

I have a few old school friends that I still keep in touch with but she is one in a million. People say we are beginning to look like each other! Ha ha ha.

Thought you might like to know and hear my story.