‘I’m flat­tered that she doesn’t think I’m out of touch’

Jane Slade, 59, has formed a great bond with Lucy Da­ley, 32.


Ihave known Lucy since she was 14. She was my niece’s best friend. They at­tended the same school in Bex­hill, in East Sus­sex. I had spent my teenage years in the town and worked on the lo­cal news­pa­per be­fore mov­ing to Lon­don, so I would see Lucy at my sis­ter’s and par­ents’ homes.

how­ever, our friendship did not blos­som un­til a few years later, when my sis­ter died quite sud­denly. She had three chil­dren un­der the age of 18. the youngest, my nephew, was 12. their father had died two years be­fore, so the fam­ily was in freefall.

in the haze of shock and grief and emo­tional tur­moil, i re­mem­ber Lucy al­ways be­ing there; com­fort­ing my nieces and nephew and of­fer­ing us all friendship and sup­port. De­spite be­ing so young, she al­ways had the ma­tu­rity and calm­ness that i have come to trea­sure.

a year later, when i was cel­e­brat­ing a hap­pier event, my mar­riage, i asked her to be the of­fi­cial pho­tog­ra­pher. She loved tak­ing pic­tures and of course knew my fam­ily – she had be­come part of it.

When she moved to Lon­don we be­gan to see each other more. the age gap didn’t seem an is­sue. the baby boomer and the mil­len­nial are not so dif­fer­ent. We seem to like sim­i­lar things.

ev­ery few weeks we meet for din­ner. We talk about plays and ex­hi­bi­tions; ex­change views on cur­rent af­fairs. We talk about ev­ery­thing – re­la­tion­ships, jobs, fam­ily.

i have prob­a­bly asked her ad­vice more than she has asked for mine. i am flat­tered that she en­joys my com­pany and doesn’t con­sider me out of touch. We have a very close bond. We even went on hol­i­day to­gether a few years ago.

We may have been born decades apart — my ear­li­est mem­ory is be­ing told to keep quiet while watch­ing Win­ston churchill’s funeral on a black-and-white tv; Lucy comes from the mi­crochip gen­er­a­tion — but we seem to have a lot in com­mon.

in some ways, Lucy is the daugh­ter that i never had. i was so de­lighted a few months ago when she rang to tell me about her new boyfriend and was keen for me to meet him. i hope that she knows i am her friend for life.

‘We talk about ev­ery­thing: re­la­tion­ships, jobs, fam­ily’

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