LIFE gets us all down sometimes and that is especially so when you are in the company of people who seem to go out of their way to be miserable, always looking to be the problem for any solution.
But any negativity those unfortunate souls bring to your life is always overcome by the many good people you have in it.
A few years ago I read somewhere that loneliness was the worst emotion a person could ever have to endure, a philosophy that is spot on the mark so far as I’m concerned.
But the Lioness and I have been extremely fortunate to have always had a wide range of friends and acquaintances, whose presence always gives us a lift.
Such as on Sunday when we ventured up to the house of two of our closest friends, the occasion being a very informal celebration of the 50th birthday of “Little Fave” and hosted by her lesser half “The Great One” (a nickname sarcastically given to him by one of his kids when they were not seeing eye to eye one day).
This couple are at the top of the tree when it comes to friendship: loyal, generous to a fault and just great company.
There were another half a dozen or so couples there, people we have come to know through an extended network loosely based around our kids either playing sport or going to school together.
But life changes and we don’t get to be in each other’s company all that often these days.
However, it was as if nothing had changed, everybody fitting back into the groove with a few drinks, a bit of a laugh and tucking into another great feast put together by The Great One.
The Lioness and I were the first to leave — which had to be something of a first — and I walked out with a spring in my step.
But I also couldn’t help wondering how life doesn’t turn out the way you perhaps expected.
One moment I was sitting on a surfboard off Dee Why Point, thinking I was living the dream and now all these years later I realise I in fact am.
Mind you, when I was first told I was being transferred in my work in the NSW courts system to Albury, I wasn’t impressed when I found out how far from the coast it was.
But I lost any regrets I had about the move many years ago.
In Sydney, it used to take an hour to get to the city on a bus, although it was only about 20 kilometres from where I lived.
In Albury on the odd occasion I had to make the 200-kilometre trip to Deniliquin Court, it took me only two and a bit hours, with the bonus of driving through some magnificent rural settings.
When I was growing up in Sydney I would never have dreamt that one day I would be writing professionally about sport and appearing on radio or television and meeting high-profile identities from all walks of life.
Or, even more particularly, that I would be writing about agriculture and its importance to this country — and being passionate about it.
Although I will admit that the first time I heard the word “fecundity”, used in a television advertisement, I was somewhat shocked.
Along the way, I have also become involved in amateur theatre, become a member of a racing club, gone fishing for species with exotic names, like Euros, reddies and yellabellies and so much more.
The bottom line is I have been able to do so many things that would not have been possible in Sydney — or any other metropolitan area for that matter.
It’s 36 years today since I arrived in Albury, hoping for the next six months to pass quickly so I could head back to Sydney and the life I loved.
But now there is not a day goes by that I don’t thank whichever power of the universe it was that was responsible for me falling for The Lioness, and thus keeping me in the area.
Because frankly, I just couldn’t imagine life being any sweeter in any region outside the Border and North East.