Knowing it's there if you need it.
What is your longest standing close friendship?
Easy. I think I only really have one. Or at least only one I ever use. It's very important to me, but it's also not something I believe I could replicate very easily.
How long do you tend to stay friends with people generally?
A long time. We might not talk, or see each other, but from my perspective most, if not all friendships, are for the duration.
Describe your pattern of friends (i.e. do you have lots of good mates, lots of close mates, few mates but very close, are they spread out geographically etc.)
I have the Internet, and an almost boundless capacity for IM. Most of my friends are around Birmingham, but I like the fact I know people all over. I don't like quite so much my inability to get off my backside and visit some of them. I have very few close friends, though I've been relaxing about that a bit recently, I have many more "important" friends.
How easily do you think you make friends and what stops you or makes it more difficult?
I think I give a lot very quickly in terms of friendship. If you could get to be 100% friends with somebody, it's a log curve - I give 80% very quickly, and very few get beyond that.
How easily do you form really close friendships and what stops you or makes it more difficult?
See curve comments above.
How easy is it for you to ask your friends for help and what stops you or makes it more difficult?
Very difficult. I'd much prefer them all to be telepathic and read my thoughts. What tends to happen is that I hint around for a bit then just spit it out tactlessly.
How many ex-friends do you have?
Not a lot. Some I've lost touch with - some I only ever pitied at the time I knew them...
How many people do you see just because they happen to be part of the same social scene as you that you perhaps wouldn’t choose to spend so much time with or even see at all?
A fair number - they enrich my experiences in the context in which I see them - but we might not have a lot in common if we were sat down and told to make conversation...
How much do you talk about your friends with your other friends?
I'm a gossip. My superweakness is "insatiable curiosity". Plus, as sixtine said, I'm an LRPer.
Is there anything you wouldn’t talk about to do with a friend with other friends?
People in the 80% confidence range? I can be discrete - if a little foot-in-mouth at times; with certainly people in my life I will discuss 99.99% of everything that is me, including my experiences, thoughts, impressions etc. That's as close as you get to unedited.