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Thursday 15 February 2024

Tell Us About: Friends and Friendship


Mid life women gather in Hyde Park for a meet up of the Kettlewell Colour Club

Dear friends. Welcome to this month's Tell Us About challenge.  The prompt was chosen by Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper. Penny has become a good friend and we've met up several times. It's a good example of how " finding your tribe" can help you meet new people and make friends.

Today's post is all about forging friendships later in life. 

If you've stayed in the same area all your life, chances are you're still seeing friends from school and various jobs.  If you've moved around a lot,  it may be harder because it's impossible to see long-distance friends very often. For all of us, friendships sometimes run their course too. A friend at certain stages of our life is just that, a friend for that window of time. 

Agony aunts in magazines usually advise us to join clubs and evening classes to meet like-minded friends: book clubs, the gym and so on. But at most of these events - except the beginning of a series of evening classes - you'll often find people have paired up. So in my experience, it's better to go to events or experiences where people attend on their own for the express purpose of meeting other people. 


I dislike and distrust Meta and wouldn't be on Facebook if it wasn't for the communities I belong to.  I rarely post to my own profile now, but I am a "top contributor" to the Kettlewell Colour Club, which started in a humble way at the start of the first lock down and now has 15000 members. 

The colour club has spawned a vast network of events run by the members in their home towns across the UK  (and also in the US). 

I've met some wonderful women and count some of them real friends. We talk regularly on Messenger and WhatsApp on all sorts of topics. I even organised my own event last year in Hyde Park - top pic -  and will be doing so again this year. 

Other "tribes" I'm aware of on Facebook are: Trish's Super Troopers, for fans of Look Fabulous Forever;  Roadies, for fans of Bobbi Brown's Jones Road makeup, and Trinny Tribe, for fans of Trinny Woodhall. This has lots of regional and international offshoots now.  Simply use the search bar to find the groups and join. 

Those who love BBC Radio 2's Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the 70s enjoy discussing the show real-time on Sundays and also meet up once or twice a year. 

Another option is the Walk 1000 Miles group on Facebook. Not only will you be aiming to walk one thousand miles in a year, you'll meet people in your own area and several walks have sprung up this way.  There are lots of inspiring stories of people in the group who could barely walk 500 metres because of health problems. 


There are MeetUp groups all over the world. London has a particularly active set up. I'm a member of a couple of walking groups but the sky's the limit: there are groups who go to the theatre, art galleries,  yoga classes, comedy open mics and so on, plus groups by town / nationality /gender. 

The group I go out with most is Over 45 and Not Grumpy.  I happily sign up for their walks, which take a few hours, include coffee and lunch stops, and take me to places I've never seen before in London and the Home Counties.  Sometimes I don't know anyone, but you soon get chatting. I'm not looking for romance, being married, but if you're looking for romance, it's a good place to try.  

If you hit it off with someone, you can now keep in touch with them via the Meetup app, if both parties agree.  My group also organises holidays which vary from three day breaks to longer holidays in South America. Plus there are online activities too. 

To use Meetup and see what's available for your area, either download the app or sign up via your browser. 


I am a great believer in holidays for solo travellers.  Your partner may not share the same interests, or you may be on your own. Whatever your situation, these holidays are a wonderful way to meet people of a similar demographic.

On a holiday in Corfu 20 years ago, I met two people who have a major impact on my life. Wendy, with whom I hit it off immediately, and John, who later became my husband.  It was a big group:  Wendy (plum dress) and I am on the left  (I'm next to her in turquoise). John is at the back, centre.

Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon with the group she met in Corfu in 2003 including a best friend and her current husband

That was with Solo's, who still exist. If you're looking to meet a man for a relationship, activity and beach holidays are your best bet. I did a touring holiday of Sri Lanka and just one man attended, with  more than 12 women. The women were all professionals or retired professionals, ranging in age from early 40s to early 70s. We had an absolute blast.

There are several organisations for solo travellers where you'll meet plenty of like minded women. Try One Traveller, Saga or Exodus

Holidays for different interests are also great for meeting your tribe.  We did a 4 day cycling holiday last year and quite a few of the participants were travelling on their own.  The group keeps in touch and we'll be meeting one or two people we met on one of our upcoming cycling adventures this year. 

It's sometimes daunting meeting everyone for the first time, but many of the holidays allow you to attend an ice breaker before you set off, which helps. And don't forget, everyone else is in the same boat. I have such happy memories of the various solo holidays I did. 

Now let's see how our blogger friends tackled the prompt Friends and Friendship. 

Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper, whose prompt this was, looks back at friends she had during her childhood and reflects on how friendships change over the years. She notes how important her current friends are and how we all communicate now as opposed to the past

For Sue from Women Living Well After 50 friendship has no age barrier. For the Friends/Friendship prompt Sue discusses ‘Why Age-Gap Friendships’ are a vital part of Ageing Well. 

Debbie at Deb's World is sharing a story from a few years ago, all about friendship and making lifelong friends in the world of blogging.   

Jill from Grownup Glamour is exploring the changing nature of friendships throughout our lives and the importance of friends as we age.

Marsha from Marsha in the Middle wrote about her golden friends in a post in 2022.  She has used parts of that post to talk about the definition of friends and friendship.

Mary Katherine reflects on long-friendship gold, friendships lost, and new friendships at midlife. Find her at 

Suzy at The Grey Brunette shares stories of friendships over her 48 years, from childhood buddies like Emma to global connections, each one leaving a unique mark on her life. 

I hope you enjoyed our reflections on friendship. If you made any friends through joining clubs or organisations, do let us know about it in the comments. 

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1 comment

  1. Gail thanks for hosting. Like you I don't trust Meta but do use it. Like you've I've had some friendships that faded out and others that have stood the trust of time. I've linked an older post- one that talks about the friendships we call the "twisted soul sisters". 7 nurses hanging out together since 1977. I could also have used one called "One Friend Can Change Your Whole Life" which is about a friendships that started in Sept of 1959. Take care of yourself and your friendships. Bernie from Equipoiselife.wordpress.com


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