International Friendship Day 2019

The 31st of July is International Friendship Day and this year I spent a long time on a big project which I was pretty proud of. I wanted to share it in today’s blog post.

That’s eight rows of eight friends all in a solid square. It took me an awfully long time to put together! In fact, it was originally a project for International Friendship Day 2019. I started drawing people in May or June 2018 and wanted to make a collage of lots of people – it took longer than I thought and some people took multiple attempts to get right. In fact, there’s a good many of these that I’d like to redraw – but I don’t think I could ever get it ‘perfect’ in part because I keep making new friends!

Here’s a break down of everyone in the picture, moving from left to right:

Top Row:

  • Davey: The first close and long-lasting friend I ever had. I’ve known him since I was four!
  • George: The second close and long-lasting friend I ever had. I’ve known him since I was five!
  • Kieran: An old primary and secondary school friend and a good Christmas time dinner companion.
  • Chris: Down to earth, sociable and a friend since primary school, it’s always a delight to cross paths with him again.
  • Sarah: A secondary school friend. Though we have sadly drifted apart, there was a time (circa 2009) that she was one of my very closest friends.
  • Dani: Thrust together by boring cooking classes, Dani and I became good friends. Our paths seldom cross these days, but I am always glad when they do.
  • Louise: In my last year at school, Louise was a good friend who would always look out for me. Though our time together was short, I will always be grateful of her.
  • Laura: A friend from throughout secondary school. We had some good times sitting together in certain classes.

Second Row:

  • Will: Originally just a friend of a friend, but we decided to cut out the middle man and become straight up friends. Decent, reliable and an excellent dinner companion.
  • Dalfino: A fixture in life, like the moon or the sun. Dalfino has been a friend for fifteen years – making more regular appearances in my life than anybody else.
  • Christian: Kind, polite, mild-mannered – all qualities I admire in Christian. I’m glad to see him over dinner from time to time.
  • Sam: An old school friend who I feel like I became better friends with after school rather than during – a welcome addition to many meals that I organise.
  • Mike: Friendly, appreciative and with a good sense of humour. I feel the term ‘good bloke’ was made specifically for people like Mike. I’m glad to see him over dinner from time to time.
  • Jon: An old school friend who recently got back in touch through the many meals that I organise – and a welcome reunion it was.
  • Matt: Until 2008, Matt was among my closest friends – then he had to move to Saudi Arabia. I hope for a proper reunion at some point…
  • Milo: An old school friend from whom I’d rather drifted apart – until recently when he showed himself to be an enormously caring and reliable friend.

Third Row:

  • Beth: An old colleague and friend who suffered under the same tyrannical boss some years ago. She moved away a few years ago, but I hope to see her in the future.
  • Elle: Another former colleague – Elle was with me when I left an old tyrannical boss. She moved away to travel the world. I’m sure our paths will cross again one day. I used to like saying “Hello, Elle” because it sounded like LOL.
  • Edward: Calm, considered, responsible, grouchy, intelligent, reservedly affectionate and just about one of the best people to spend time with. The only person to ever visit my in hospital.
  • Sarah: The very first colleague I became good friends with and the golden standard of friendly colleagues (in my eyes). Sarah remains a good friend to this day.
  • Gareth: A former line manager and someone for whom I have the greatest respect. The model image of a professional adult who remains friendly, approachable and inspirational.
  • Kayleigh: Friendly, considerate and empathetic – another person I am privileged to have worked under.
  • Ankita: I used to manage Ankita (kind of) and though she was technically a ‘virtual assistant’ she soon became a genuine friend.
  • Tom: A fellow fanatic of anthropomorphic apes and the most recent person for me to grow to consider a friend.

Fourth Row:

  • Naomi: A friend from my university days. There were many times when she was very caring and supportive of me and the two of us shared many pleasant experiences – for this I am very grateful.
  • David: I don’t know if I’ve met anyone so similar to me before. We shared many adventures together, but have been separated by circumstance. I feel his impact still and I know that one day we will have more adventures.
  • Rhinowater: Loveable, reliable, anime-watching and video game playing companion. Every Friday and Saturday for the past seven years, we’ve chatted online for hours. Storytelling extraordinaire.
  • Tulin: Well traveled, down to earth, working class, world weary, supportive, considerate, stroyteller, writer, artist, wanderer. They don’t often make people this good.
  • Sophie: The perfect housemate. Empathetic, endlessly considerate, writer, reader, wanderer, librarian. Half of Sopham.
  • Oscar: Probably the person to make me laugh more than anybody else. Pro-gamer and eater and reviewer of McDonald’s Double Cheese Burgers.
  • Chloe: Jewellery maker extraordinaire and an excellent writer. With a solid knowledge of all the best pop culture and keen insights and understanding of others, Chloe’s among the best people to spend time with.
  • Liam: Smart, funny, wise, helpful, caring, considerate. There are a lot of reasons to love Liam – he also has a nice video game collection.

Fifth Row:

  • Sam: Kind, friendly, approachable and a master of the world of tabletop games. I owe many a fun evening to him.
  • Alex: Gentle, kind, friendly and a friend since 2008. Promoted from internet friend to real life friend in 2016. Always a delight to sit and talk to.
  • Mairi: Was once my best internet friend and is now one of my best friends overall. Funny, energetic, smart – I always love visiting Mairi. Plus, saving the world as a coastal scientist.
  • Rory: Calm, considered, gentle, empathetic – a friend since 2008 and one of the best I have. People don’t get much better than Rory.
  • Egan: I have learned very much from Egan and he has always gone out of his way to be friendly and supportive. Though he has sadly moved to Australia, I look forward to visiting him…
  • Ben: A friend since secondary school and a reliable dinner companion in adult life. He and I used to write about what it would be like if the two of us were obnoxious billionaires. The body count was pretty high.
  • Hayley: One of my very best friends in secondary school – then we drifted apart… but then we drifted back! A sign that a solid friendship can survive a few years without contact, and a lesson for me to not let them happen again.
  • Tasha: We went to school together – and then interestingly then became good friends as adults. Tasha brings a good energy to any social event.

Sixth Row:

  • Rini: I worked in a call centre for a time. It started to be a lot more enjoyable when Rini started and I had someone nice and friendly to laugh and joke around with.
  • Suzie: Protective and caring, Suzie is a good person to know. She fed me lots of delicious blue berries and oranges while we worked together.
  • Sophia: With just the right mixture of youthful enthusiasm for life and a healthy dollop of world weariness, Sophia is such fun to spend time with and provides intelligent reflections and insights too.
  • Stefanie: I remember chatting with Stefanie into the night while working in a call centre: the calls stopped coming late at night, so we’d fanticise about food.
  • Elaine: Caring and supportive – keen to fight the rules of society! A former co-worker who sadly moved away.
  • Patrick: Excellent office singer. Friendly, comedic and exceptional fellow bus commuter. Bonus points for solid video game knowledge.
  • Becca: Friendly, lovable, easy to get on with – another call centre co-worker I was very fond of and who I hope to cross paths with again some day!
  • Mike: A schoolmate turned co-worker. Full of energy, fun loving. My favourite unexpected bus encounter of all time.

Seventh Row:

  • Amy: Master of sarcasm. Creator of the world’s best cupcakes. Hard crack dealer. Alberta strangler.
  • Kat: Professional, caring, pro-active, knowledgeable, learned and one of my favourite lunch companions. Part of the Social Media Team in my heart.
  • Stephanie: Expert writer, kind, hard working, friendly, easy to talk to, knowledgeable, considerate, complimentary and another solid lunch companion. Other part of the Social Media Team in my heart.
  • Jess: Proper Jesster. Jessex girl at heart. Raver. Socially conscious. Future owner of the Jessica Lear Foundation of Global Conservation. Coming soon to an island near you.
  • Dan: Embodiment of the term ‘people person’ easy to get on with and highly loveable. I replaced him in the same job twice as he went to literal and metaphoric greener pastures.
  • Anthony: One of my university lecturers – an excellent writer and teacher, an ecobardic storyteller, friendly and fascinating.
  • Rachel: Former university classmate – friendly, converational, easy to get on with. I hope our paths will cross again soon.
  • Christy: Friendly and supportive partner of a friend – introduced me to a delicious lemon drink. Good at leaving first impressions and then good continued expressions.

Bottom Row:

  • Emma: The vlogger Myrmidryad and a former classmate/friend. Intelligent and well read – never fails to entice my enthusiasm for reading and writing.
  • Emma: We have dinner once every four years. A pretty unique arrangement.
  • Greg: A very gregarious individual.
  • Alice: A solid gold email penpal.
  • Aliena: A friend of a friend, turned internet friend. Supportive and open – a master of erotic fiction.
  • Earl Hamner: Sadly dead. My favourite author. He once invited me to dinner and said he might write a post for this blog. RIP.
  • Colin the Cow: Finger puppet, webcomic star, gender moo-id icon, wordplay master, beloved by all.
  • Trusty Water Bottle: Holder of water – giver of life. This blog is named after it. Friends since 2008.
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