The HR Juggler

Day 3: The Spirit of Friendship

Posted on: December 3, 2012

The third day of this series of Advent blogs, is a very special post from a lovely lady. Beth is known to most of us as @BettyBBrave on Twitter and as this post shows, she most certainly is.


2012 has been a very busy, wonderful, sad and strange year for me.  I got married to my wonderful, gorgeous husband; I got promoted; I had an operation; I met wonderful new people.  And on July 1st 2012, one of my best friends died.

This is not a sad piece of writing; there has been enough mourning this year. The theme for Alison’s wonderful series of posts is ‘reflections and resolutions’. I am therefore going to use Diana’s words and spirit to make some resolutions. 

  • ‘Never go out without your tutti on’ – for those of you not lucky enough to live in the North West, ‘tutti’ is makeup.  Diana used to describe herself as ‘bordering on drag queen’, and certainly, she always looked gorgeous and always brightened up a room by wearing wild colours, false eyelashes, and bright lipstick.  So, to translate this to a resolution, I’m saying always be the best version of yourself that you can be, whether this is about personal presentation, pushing yourself harder with sport or exercise, or more about being someone that gives someone 20p when they’re short on their bus fare.
  • ‘Never let your husband get away with anything, unless it’s just not worth your energy’! This was her last advice to me before she became too poorly to talk, and we had a laugh and a weep. I’m going to move this away from my husband, specifically (for which he will be relieved), and change this to pick your battles in life – if it’s something you feel passionately about, then always pursue take on the fight. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of, but likewise don’t have a fight just for the sake of winning an argument. Only put your energy on things that deserve it.
  • ‘You can never have too many cats’. At one stage, she had five! Three of her own, and two from next door who decided that they loved her more.  Obviously you know that we are mad cat people, so I’m not going to have this as a literal post – but rather take this lesson:Iif you love something, embrace that, and love loving it – other people’s opinions do not matter. If you think that you want a new career, as a cake maker or wedding planner, then why wait? Take on your dreams and live the life that you want to live.
  • Diana’s favourite hobby was to ‘buy crap’ on EBay – I was on occasion a recipient of something she had purchased that she didn’t want once it arrived, or that she’d seen and thought of me. I think where I’m going with this, is be generous, be kind, and have a sense of humour with it. If you love the excitement of waiting for a parcel to arrive, then order more parcels!
  • Diana was there for me so much when I needed her.  When we were both off work sick, I’d go to her house, and sit with her. She would make me cups of tea; we’d talk and laugh, when nothing else was making me laugh.  Her company was easy, enjoyable – honest and humorous. Nothing is more important than spending time with people that you love.


On July 1st, after Diana had spent several weeks in a hospice, I woke up, and knew that I had to go to her. I was due to visit that afternoon, but knew I needed to be there now.  I turned up and stayed; me,  husband and her two other closest friends.  We calmed her from her distress, we held her hands, we told her how much we loved her, and that she needed to let herself go to sleep.  Her husband spent 15 minutes with her, and then we came back in. We sat with her for just 10 more minutes until, finally, and yet far too soon, this beautiful woman left our lives.

It’s amazing how strong you can be when you have to be.

So, whilst I am writing about something so sad, it’s also with a smile on my face. I’m reflecting now on the happiest times – the fun times. My hen weekend, the week before she got her final diagnosis, and how much she loved my ‘nearly naked butler’. Di in slippers and dressing gown, bawling out a teenager who let her dog chase my cats. Diana, drunk at a BBQ in their garden, getting her best friend to post a sausage through our evil neighbours’ letterbox! And I think, wow – she lived such an honest, fun, and down-to-earth existence. No pretence, no dramas – just focussed on friends, family and fun. And how lucky am I that I had her in my life? 

So my resolutions for 2013 are:

  1. I’m never going out without my tutti on
  2. I will never let my husband get away with anything, unless it’s not worth my energy
  3. I will have as many cats as I want
  4. I will continue to buy crap on EBay
  5. I will always spend time with the people I love

If 2012 has provided challenge for you, I wish you the support and spirit to overcome this. If you have had wonderful times, I wish you even more to come.

And I wish that 2013 will be the brightest, most energised, happy and fulfilling year that you have had.

I know that 2013 will be a good year for me….

I have a very bright star watching over me.

Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year!

11 Responses to "Day 3: The Spirit of Friendship"

What a lovely post. Through tears – for some reason this song popped into my head. ‘I’m Always Touched By Your Presence Dear’.

How very lovely Doug – just had a listen and thoroughly enjoyed it. Love a bit of Blondie and seems most appropriate 🙂

Such a moving reflection. It sounds like Diane was a wonderful friend, and will forever live in your heart. She has touched our lives too, by those simple life lessons she left you with, which you have been so kind enough to share with us.

A wonderful, moving and remarkable post. Thank you for sharing such precious words and thoughts. May you and your bright star always shine 🙂

Just getting my lippy out for the afternoon after reading this!!

Number 5 is everything.

Thanks for your lovely comments everyone, and mainly thank you to Alison for giving me the opportunity to write about my wonderful friend xx

Oh you are so very very welcome – thank you got writing such a wonderful post, that has touched so many people.

What a lovely post – I just got home after a very long day and needed to read this – what a wonderful idea this is, Alison, and thank you Betty!

Just brought tears to my eyes (but happy tears!) and made me reflect on what is important in life. Beautiful, well done x

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