Way back in February when the sun was shining and there was no such word as lockdown and no such things as level 1 to 4 I had a very long lunch with some friends.
I know all friends are special but these ones are very special. You see I have known them since I was at Intermediate and — let's just say that was quite a number of years ago.
Over the years I have kept in touch on and off with three of them but all at different times.
We decided it was about time we all got together so the four of us met for lunch.
It was fantastic and there were a few tears as a couple of these girls hadn't seen each other for years.
While we were chatting one of them mentioned the name of another person we all used to kick around with.
They had seen this person occasionally and had a chat or two over the years.
We all wanted to see her so asked to be friends on Facebook (one of the really good things about social media), she accepted and, after a bit of toing and froing to find a date that suited us all, we had a date for February.
I have to admit to a wee tear when I saw this person. The funny thing was that she used to send in readers' pictures to the paper so I recognised her married name but the photos were never of her — not that I would have recognised her just as she didn't recognise me.
What an absolute blast we had. There were photos, talk — heaps of talk and so much laughter.
It was a very long lunch. We all agreed that we wanted to meet again and thought we would do it every other month. It's hard getting a date that suits five people especially when one works every other weekend.
Well, you know what happened next. We did chat on Facebook and three of us went for coffee a few times when we went down to level 2. But it wasn't until July that we finally all got together again.
Then on the first Saturday of September they came to my place for lunch. Every time we have met we have been blessed with a nice sunny day.
We have all lived such different lives but we all have such a lot in common.
We never run out of things to say. It's amazing really we have so much history. We all know each other's parents, we have mutual friends and are forever asking if this one knows whatever happened to that one from school.
Someone suggested we should call ourselves the Famous Five. Another thought the Infamous Five would be more appropriate.
In a year that has been filled with stress, uncertainty and talk of sickness, death and Covid, I feel so lucky to have them in my life.
If you haven't spoken to your friends for a while pick up the phone and dial. Friendship really is the best medicine.
Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.