I AM tapping this out, feeling sated from a sumptuous Sunday dinner that included sweet and succulent belly pork (or pork belly as it is usually called in gastro pubs).

That feeling of comfort as the weekend peters out and gives way to a new week, is made all the more satisfying because it has been such a lovely weekend.

One of my oldest friends came to stay on Friday and it has been a couple of days of chattering, laughing, good food, good wine and just feeling happy, supported, relaxed and like we have been through so much, but there are still such good times to be had.

A jolly to Barry Island and a treat for the children in ‘Cadwaladers’, chocolate sprinkle cones and running on the sand all round seemed a pitch-perfect setting for nostalgia, fun and looking out at new horizons.

There is something about having a someone or even several someones’ in your life to whom you have always and will always be cherished, that gives you a great sense of surety about who you are and who you can be; about what you’ve achieved and what more you can do.

Having someone who truly has your back, has seen you in pretty much every state, has listened to you, advised you, laughed with you and just knows you and has still stuck by you, that is of the most enormous encouragement in this meandering through life.

Another joy is found in how the friendship develops, how you learn more about one another and grow.

Twenty years ago, I didn’t have children and she did.

We have travelled miles from then emotionally, romantically, financially and even geographically.

My friend fusses my children, talks to them, listens and laughs with them.

I care about her life, her family, her dreams and ambitions.

We could declare vows to one another, as we really have been there in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer.

It got me thinking about what you do to make any relationship work.

I’ve spent money on people that claimed to be skint (who then seemed not to be); gone to concerts and events I didn’t want to to make someone happy; behaved, cooked, dressed, tried to be interested in their interests and worked hard to be ‘right’ for someone, but the truth is, I never would be and they would never be right for me.

To be with someone in any kind of relationship, whether that is a friendship, in a family or a romantic relationship, is not about changing who you are to fit what they demand, expect or need.

It is about appreciating, communicating, compromise on both sides and above all about respect.

To grow and develop over time and to have someone grow and develop with you is the most precious thing and to be excited together about the adventures still to come, is the sprinkles on top of the ice cream sundae of life.