Bryony’s Birthday Blog. It does what it says on the tin. It’s a blog and it’s Bryony’s birthday today – which is why Wednesday has become a Tuesday for one week only. Why am I writing a blog for Bryony? Well, partly because she asked me to; every time I happen to mention that I need inspiration, her response is always, “Write about me”. Of course, she’s joking – her head isn’t that big, but my wicked sense of humour gets a kick out of knowing that she has absolutely no idea what I’m going to publish for the world to read. And to make matters worse, I’ve left her hanging for months.
Let me take you back to the beginning of our friendship when we weren’t friends at all. We went to the same secondary school, but Bryony was three years ahead of me, so she was just another face in the crowded corridor. It goes without saying though, she knew who I was. In the time that our paths crossed at school, I was the only one in a wheelchair which meant that I stuck out like a sore thumb. But that’s as far as we got.
Fast forward to 2013, and we found ourselves enrolling on the same course at university. Halfway through the second year, we had to go on placement with Christian Aid. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed how, when two people have something obvious in common, they’re thrown together. There was a girl in the class who was partially-sighted and had a guide dog whilst I was the girl in the wheelchair. Our disabilities and therefore our capability to stick out like sore thumbs didn’t go unobserved. We were put in the fundraising group in the hope that we could bond over our dysfunctional bodies. This may not have gone to plan, but Bryony and I were able to build a friendship based upon a mutual disliking for the girl with the guide dog, not because she was disabled, but because we simply weren’t in the same book, let alone on the same page.
Bryony can be ditsy, and she comes out with great one-liners. I discovered this when we were giving a school assembly about Christian Aid. We’d been telling the kids for half an hour that the money they’d raised was enough to buy a cow for a family in Africa. But as Bryony stood in front of the projector, with stickers all over her face from the ice-breaker we’d played, she announced, whilst pointing to the cow, that the goat was very pleased with his new home. The look of utter confusion on the kids’ faces was priceless.
There have been plenty more blonde moments; like the time when Bryony decided to take control of the barbecue and she waited for everything to be “cooked on the top”, without realising that everything was turning to charcoal on the bottom. Or the incident when she thought that Robin Williams starred in the re-enactment of his own death in Autopsy: The Last Hours of Robin Williams. It’s no laughing matter, but the misunderstanding was hilarious.
However, it has to be said, the best moments with Bryony are when Jesus is involved. As two of the only people that weren’t devout Christians on our course, we liked to take our ‘heathen’ status to the extreme in the form of Jesus-related gifts. It is courtesy of this fetish that I have a “Ring for Jesus” bell on my bedside cabinet, and that she has a “holy water” hip flask for the days when her three sprogs are trying her patience. I jest – do not call the NSPCC.
In the past six months, our relationship has reached a whole new level because Bryony has become my skivvy for sixteen hours of the week. Normally I wouldn’t recommend working with friends, but in this case, it works really well and we haven’t even had the urge to kill each other as of yet. During her first shift, I laughed so hard that I got hiccups which were closely followed by a cascade of puke and pee. She wasn’t fazed. My toilet had a malfunction in its washing and blow-drying feature which meant that she had to clean my shit out of every nook, cranny and orifice. Still not fazed. She spends the majority of her time trying to prize my legs open with her elbows or balance my legs on top of her head…as part of physio. And she just isn’t fazed.
Anyway, jokes aside, I think she’s pretty awesome. She has me in stitches on a daily basis with her ridiculous stories about her crazy children. She does her very best to transform me into a girly-girl with pretty nails and epic outfit choices. But above all, she’s one in a million and a truly bad influence.
Happy Birthday, Bry! Jesus Loves You.