I have an Irish friend.. - In the name of Thiago - Day 326

I'm going to start tonight by telling you about a men's group I joined on a Teams call last night. I need to keep this extremely vague for obvious reasons but the essence of the group was that everyone on the call had experienced the loss of a child or was likely to be in that position. You might think that such a meeting of minds would be a pretty dispiriting affair and I have to confess that I was hardly jumping for joy at the prospect of joining the call. But I said I'd do it and once I say I'm going to do something, well that's it. My word is my bond all that. I'm a bit old school me.

It went so much better than I could possibly have expected, and I left the meeting feeling that you know what: having a support group like that is no bad thing. There were a full range of characters on there, and despite the group's chair allowing a bloody Gooner into the session, I'd say that yes, this is something I would do again. Online meetings are sketchy but given the choice between that and nothing, I'd certainly do it again.

The flowers continue to flood in and every delivery is a blessing. Knowing that people are thinking of my family is comforting at this awful time and bless my Mum, she'd co-ordinated for this beautiful arrangement to be sent to us from our local florist - a lovely Romanian lady, who also supported us with flowers for the funeral. 

Experiencing what I have in the last year has been truly awful, but one positive to have come out of it is that we have found ourselves being introduced to a lot of people, who have consistently put our feelings ahead of anything else. There's much good to be found in our society you know.  

But it wasn't only flowers that have been delivered today. Looking at that picture it probably won't surprise you to find me continuing this sentence with the words, 'I have an Irish friend'. Trish has been an absolute rock to me for many years but in this last year, she's really been incredible. Like so many of us, she's experienced loss but her compassion and let's say an understanding of what's needed at a particular time has been exemplary. This went down so smoothly and I don't have to work tomorrow either so there may be a few more to pass my lips yet!

This will be me in a few minutes from now, comfortably settling in for a night seeing Spurs blitz a below par Ludogorets in the Europa League. The undercracker/sockage combination didn't see me fly in quite the way I'd hoped today but I suppose that was always going to be a lot to expect from one's undergarments. Those socks look magisterial though don't they? Like I said yesterday, fire and brimstone.

We've just had a family meal together and Elisa has been regaling Angelica and I with the torment she's been through in drama today. She is hilarious. Her teacher wasn't thrilled with the sketch that her group had presented today and apparently said that he was considering splitting them up. Elisa would like nothing more than to be separated from a couple of her members in her group, who let's say err towards improv when Elisa wants to plan a thing of beauty. The despair etched on her face as she described the events of the day was priceless.

Speaking of things of beauty - you gotta admit that's a wonderful seamless transition right there - here I am sampling the aforementioned gift from Trish. A couple more of these and a hat-trick from Carlos Vinicius allowing Harry Kane a rest on the bench as a prelude to humbling those bastards Chelsea on Sunday wouldn't go amiss. Sounds so simple doesn't it!

Night all and thank you for reading. Your support has meant a lot to me this year.



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