Kay and Tina met up on a lovely sunny day in August to mark 25 years of friendship and talked to us about what it means to them while they created a hand casting together.
The two friends first met in 1992 at the start of their part time MA in Historical Studies which they undertook as “very mature” students while holding down full time jobs.
Ever since graduating in 1995, they’ve met up every six weeks to have lunch which they describe as “a little oasis” in their lives. While the women acknowledge the major, and in some cases, tragic life events that have taken place in each other’s lives over the years, over lunch they put that to one side (“we don’t dwell on it”) and enjoy good food and drink, swapping book recommendations (historical novels are a favourite) and “putting the world to rights”. They might not have agreed on Brexit but they know they can air their views without being judged.
Celebrating their friendship anniversary made them really stop and reflect on what it is that has kept it alive for all these years: their interest in history, similar careers in teaching and social care, a love of food and wine and not least, the bonds they formed as they faced the challenges of going back to University in their fifties:
“we found ourselves in an exam room thinking what are we doing here? We don’t need to be doing this!”
Tina managed to complete her Masters at a time when her husband was desperately ill with MS, juggling a full time job and caring for her husband with the challenges of the course. Sadly, he died shortly after she graduated, but recalls how her friendship with Kay helped her through this very difficult time.
“I know that I can always rely on her to be there – and I hope that she feels the same”.
The friends were surprised and delighted by the handclasp that they created in Kay’s kitchen – particularly in the detail of Tina’s husband’s wedding ring which she wears to this day.