THEY say (those people often quoted at such times), that you can’t chose your family.

Nor can you chose your work colleagues; who you’re at school with or the people you’ll stand with, week in week out as your child plays football or.... (insert any other activity that you race to get to after a busy day).

I mused on this over pink gin in the Cross Keys pub in Dinas Powys a few nights ago.

I was out with some of the Mums from my son’s football team.

Amanda and I were discussing how those in the group are from different places; there’s quite a span of ages and really different life experiences, but it works.

There’s Helen, who is very cool but also very warm; Rachel, who seems to be over-spilling with enthusiasm and excitement and her energy is infectious; Sam, who always strikes me as someone full of much wisdom; Clare, who is a brave battler; Amanda, who has a beaming smile and glint in her eye, and Laura, an incredibly close friend, non-judgemental, great listener, incredibly supportive and top laugh (plus, she knows everybody).

Laura was a friend made at a party my son attended, another occasion where you’re thrown together with people with whom you may have nothing else in common, other than the fact you gave birth at a broadly similar time.

Thinking about school, where else are you all plonked for years with very few options of extricating yourself if you don’t find a friend that ‘fits’?

At least with a party or the school pick up, you can sit in the car and pretend to look at your phone, dashing to collect at the last moment.

They say (those people again), that school days are the best of your life.

Well, not if you’re being bullied or really struggling in some way.

I was blessed to make friends like Alex and Christian, with whom twenty odd years later I am still great friends.

Never more honoured was I than when Alex asked me to be Godmother to her gorgeous boy.

But there are some people from school that, if we met now, we wouldn’t be keen to hang around and chat with.

Those people that were mean to me or ignored me.

But I suppose another thing that they say is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

The amazing, fascinating, interesting, funny, supportive friends in my life weren’t my great friends in our first conversation, but with all, there was something interesting and worth nurturing.

You don’t know on the surface who will be a true friend from a first glance and I think about the comments of a man I am always happy to quote.

Muhammad Ali summed it up in the perfect way: “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school.

"But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything."