I have to say that 2009 isn't being kind to my friends. Three work colleagues lost a loved one over Christmas, two have injured their ankles (one was sleep walking, the other 'fell out of a gay bar' - my knee is still bruised - it's getting bigger and blacker as it reaches the surface - but is essentially fine). Not a great start to the year all in all.
Then yesterday I had some shocking news. Ed phoned me because he saw a news item on the BBC web site about a woman killed in a car/train crash in Lincolnshire, and he was pretty certain it was one of my sister's friends. How many 30 year old teaching assistants called Moira live in Spalding? The photo was a match too. But we didn't know her surname so I phoned Michelle, partly to check but mostly to make sure she knew. She'd spent most of the previous night phoning friends to let them know. Moira had a car accident in icy conditions on a level crossing, and as she tried to move her car, was hit by a train. The theory is that she was trying to stop her car from derailing the passenger train, but we'll never know. I didn't know Moira very well - just a few drunken nights out at Michelle's Uni, and later on in London for Michelle's birthdays - but she was a lovely woman and a good friend to Michelle. I'm still quite stunned really. My heart goes out to Moira's family and fiancee, and all her friends.
Thankfully last night I was hosting a stitch and bitch - just 4 of us this time - and I have to thank Emma, Sonia and Pam for cheering me up. We can all be very materialistic at times, but family and friends really are the most important things in the world.