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Friendship Onion and Golden Flakes


You know I’m relaxing when my mind begins to wander. You won’t believe where it’s wandered this time.......It must be the drugs!


Imagine this, think of an onion, our onion, let's say a Roscoff onion because they're sweeter than a regular brown onion, our onion is made of layers, obviously, that’s what onions are all about, except our onion has a special gruyėre cheese vibe going on. Within our onion and across the layers there are passageways travelling from the outer layers to the inner layers and from the inner layers to the outer layers. Sometimes these passages emerge on the outer surface of the onion. Let’s make our onion rainbow coloured and call it Cecil. No wait! That’s going too far.


Our onion is actually a very comfortable place to be. Every layer is a good layer. No layer is more lovely or less lovely than any other layer and every layer is easily moved between, maybe through the passages and maybe not.


Hold on to this image.


I recently saw a bottle of vodka, Smirnoff I think. It had tiny golden flakes floating in it. All these bits of gold were happily floating about, minding their own business, doing their own thing.


So imagine a place where, floating randomly about, there are millions of golden flakes.

Now, take our onion, it’s a baby onion, just a couple of layers. It hasn’t got any of the funny old holey cheese things yet, it’s just not mature enough. Our onion grows and as it grows layers, begin to form. Time passes, layers form like the rings of a tree. Layer upon layer upon layer. Within each layer, freely floating, are the golden flakes.


OK we're nearly there.


You are that onion and you are a golden flake! And so is everyone else!

For this purpose I’m going to be the onion, my onion, and you’re going to be a golden flake one of my golden flakes.


Now all onions grow their own number of layers however they never know how many. Captain Tom has 100 layers. He’s a big onion. My dad was a pretty big onion as well he had 89 layers but his onion has gone now. All onions have to go sometime. Where do you think all these golden flakes and onion seeds come from? At the moment I’m an OK sized onion. Would like a few more layers but very pleased with the 63 layers I have.

Now there’s this chap, he knows a thing or two, has pots of money, not that guarantees lots of layers, he’ll tell you that all the golden flakes are friends or able to become friends. Well Mr Zucerberg......wrong!


There are lots 9 carat golden flakes, 18 carat golden flakes abound but if you really think hard there's only a small number of pure, unadulterated 24 carat golden flakes.

My Facebook account tells me I have 260 golden flakes. Well that’s a load of old tosh! There’s people there I’ve never even met or wouldn't recognise if I saw then. I’ll posture this thought. The number of Facebook friends you have is the inverse number of your true “golden” friends. Just sayin'.


So let’s look at some of these “golden” friends. They are there somewhere in the layers moving in and out of the passages, sometimes close, sometimes distant but always inextricably there. Some are in the inner layers and just stay there, comfortable, dependable. Some have, just recently, from various layers found a passageway and come right on in, some bearing gifts of brilliantly timed food, or much appreciated hard work. Some bring little, meaningful, gifts. Some have recognised the passages as an opportunity to be poised if necessary. Some have just quietly moved out a layer or two to give some space. Over the years some I’ve had holidays with and some I’ve yet to holiday with. Some, a small number, just know my pain. With most I can laugh, with a few I can cry. Some hold my hand, some hug me, some hug me like our lives absolutely depend on, some will take my pain away some do them all. Some golden flakes are new, some have always been there, some are young some are not so young. Some are quietly in the outer layers, for some reason out of sight but not out of mind and some of those have, as if by magic re-appeared in the innermost layers.


In amongst these golden flakes are really bright, really shiny golden flakes. Those I cannot exist without. They’re close, always close, not necessarily physically, just close.


But there’s only one diamond!




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