Pookah Choo, or Ruth Sandford-Smith, is not making a big deal of Facebook. She has five friends on her page, all overseas, but in the real world she has plenty. Perhaps, when we are all out and about, we should start wearing a badge stating the number of friends we think we have!
She rings me, for a chat, nothing to do with the blog and I say ‘I’m taking notes’. I always refer to her as Miss Guatamala when we first speak and she calls me ‘Lady Trell,’ short for Trellis. In my eyes, she was the Guatamalan entry for Miss World in 1995 when we were travelling around South America together, on account of her hat. But I accidently call her ‘Miss Guacamole’ this time and I worry that it might stick.
We talk about the demise of the communication methods that we were brought up with and I am beginning to feel that social media is a very good pole for keeping people at a distance, During my calls, friends have revealed things to me that I would never have guessed just by looking at their pages. ‘Don’t write this down,’ they say, ‘but…’ I am beginning to feel privileged to be part of their actual world, for thirty minutes.
She says that people only put up information that puts them in a good light, Facebook is a great big marketing tool for the self(ie), a brochure of the good times. I tell her that some of my friends are venting their spleen as I scroll down, and some admit to having been crying for hours.
Ruth and I have been close friends since we were at University. Everyone kept saying that there is another girl from Leicester in our year. We spoke and found out that our father’s paths often crossed as he was an eye surgeon and my dad sent him patients. However, our shared Geography and Pa’s work were soon taken over by our shared sense of hilarity. We enjoy reminding each other of when we had not been able to control ourselves in places like church, or a gallery café.
I forgot to mention the time when she and I went to a beautiful church in Oxford with an aging congregation, last time I was over. The offertory hymn was playing so we reached for our purses. The children had been picking wild garlic the day before and it was still in my hand bag. As soon as I undid the clasp a great whiff of old rotting garlic was released and Ruth turned, frowned and signalled that I had burped. The rest of the service was spent with me looking at the world through held-in tears.
Then there was the Egyptian photo caper x2. One involved my Mum and the Reverend Greenwood, another involved Ruth and her friend John. I need to provide photos to illustrate these and will try to when I find them. Ruth spent two years teaching in Egypt and I joined her for a while, to hang out and to have one of my best life experiences, galloping round the pyramids on a racy pony at sunset.
She is my eldest child’s godmother and I just hope that my daughter finds a friend like Ruth when she is at college, it makes life a lot more enjoyable.
We chat about Roger O’Keefe who is the brother of Aussie TV presenter Andrew O’Keefe and whom Ruth had a couple of dates with. I really like Andrew, he is famous for ‘Deal or No Deal; the deal was never on for Ruth and Roger.
I realise that I have made very scant notes and have filled the page up with happy faces, big eyed and smiling.