One of my favourite sayings that I live by, is that ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ I have most certainly found that to be true and whether it’s hand to hand combat in wrestling my offspring into position, or holding me up when I’ve fallen, I do not raise them alone.

As I officially launch my book in The Reading Room in Carrick, this Saturday, as well as my family I’ll have my tribe around me, so I wanted today and Saturday’s posts to introduce you to the important members of my village. You’ve met my family in previous posts, now here are the other people I couldn’t live without………………..

My favourite TV programme has always been Sex and The City (SATC).  My best ever Christmas present was the signed photos of Sarah Jessica Parker, Mick bought me many years ago.  Just like any super fan, even at the tender age of 43, they are still stuck up in my wardrobe.  The most important part of the show is the friendship of the four women.  I could not have got through the ten-year challenge I have experienced without my friends.

Carrie – My best friend Christine, and after a very giggly road trip she took on the nickname Lily.  I don’t really use the nickname much, but that is how she is stored in my phone and Lily is also one Erin’s middle names, after my beloved bestie.  She was also specially selected to be Patrick’s Godmother; this is the biggest honour I can ever offer any of my friends.

Christine is really tall, nearly six foot in fact.  To match her towering height, she also has a big personality and, just like Carrie Bradshaw, everyone is drawn to her.  Not only does she fulfil all of my emotional needs, she fulfils my style needs too.  We are both a similar size, and regularly steal each other’s clothes!  Very important in any best friend relationship! 

Sadly, in 2014 Christine’s beloved husband John passed away, 10 weeks after his diagnosis of oesophageal cancer. Without meaning too sound cheesy and sentimental, Christine is one my heroes.  She handled this tragic blow dealt to her with such strength and dignity. 

She has always simply got on with dealing with this tragic part of her life and she never lost sight of what was most important, their two little boys Seán and Oisin.  She is an amazing friend and an amazing Mum.  Through everything she has endured, she has never failed to lose her sparkle, and being the magpie that I am, I always want to be close to her.  We have been there every step of the way for each other as we have faced the toughest challenges in our lives.  I love her dearly and as the fridge magnet I bought for her says “If we live to be 103, best friends we will always be.”

Charlotte – I went to see the new movie Mary Poppins last year, and I couldn’t fail to see the similarities between Mary and my good friend Nicola.  Nicola is the sensible one of my friendship group and is a quite stern.  If I’m honest, I’m a little bit afraid of her and always try my best to do as I’m told! 

She buys good shoes, a good coat and a good bag and always knows the right thing to do.  She is the friend I go to when I need good advice.  You know the kind you really don’t want to hear, but you just know is right! 

She’s the one that never lets me buy another dress, to add to my collection that are two sizes too small, because convince myself that I will fit into for an upcoming event later that year.  She also tried to tell me that getting Heidi the dog was a bad idea, dear God, why didn’t I listen to her?

Just like Mary Poppins, in her bag of tricks Nicola has all sorts of amazing stories and adventures you just never guessed were in there.  She’ll often shock me, by starting conversations with phrases like “when I was canoeing down the Zambezi……….” She had an adventurous life before getting her stylish bob, and this is probably what qualifies her as being the best advice giver. 

Nicola is one of Erin’s Godmothers, I’m hoping when Erin is an adult, Nicola will be able to offer her words of wisdom and also help her to pack sensibly for the adventures my crazy little Erin will no doubt take.

Samantha – this role goes to Stella.  I would like to point out early on, that Stella is not a bed-hopping sex addict, not that I know of!  But just like Samantha she is the friend I know I can always say absolutely anything too and she won’t be shocked.

That’s not to say that my other friends are judgmental in any way, they aren’t.  But sometimes I have thoughts in my head that I feel shouldn’t be there and I can always get them out by telling Stella.  Also, much like Samantha, Stella very much has her own life and isn’t afraid of that.  We see her when we see her and that’s ok, but we know she loves us and is there for us whenever we need her. 

Despite being the oldest of the gang, and the fact she is most comfortable at home on her mini farm of rescued animals, every time Stella turns up to an event, she glides in all glamour and style, wearing 4-inch heels turning heads as she goes.   Stella is not a Godmother to any of my children, but my eldest Saoirse has asked her to her Confirmation Sponsor, which in my mind is just like choosing your own Godmother.

Miranda – well that obviously only leaves me to complete the fab foursome.  Miranda fits me well because, as-well as studying law at college, I am neurotic and constantly whinging about my weight whilst shovelling cake into my mouth.

 On the plus side, just like Miranda I care deeply about all of my friends and I am married to a man who loves me with all of his heart.  A man who too, has a cool surname that would make a great first name for our future grandchildren (yes, I do think about that kind of thing).

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