Sunday, 27 December 2020

One day the sun will come out

Still no sewing to report. Antibiotics are making steady progress, but it's very slow. So, in the last days of a year which can't end soon enough for most of us, here are few thoughts instead.

Seven years ago today I was a couple of weeks away from my 50th birthday, still reeling from my husband's fatal illness diagnosis, and wondering what the coming year would bring. Three months later, I was widowed.

If, at either of those points, you had told me that in spring 2020 I would be attending the graduation ceremony for my Masters, I would have thought you were talking complete gibberish. But in March, days before the first lockdown, there I was (and yes, the sun did come out!).


With the 'Dissertation Police'

Going back to university was not something I had ever remotely considered until this course came along, but I was very glad that I did. As well the interest of the course itself, I was extremely fortunate to be part of a cohort with some fantastic young women: despite the fact that I was old enough to be the mother of any one of them, they took me into their group, and I learned so much from them. And despite all the grumblings on this blog about writing my dissertation, on the whole I enjoyed bringing it all together. The interest this sparked in dress and fashion theory continues, as is obvious from the Christmas presents I requested from my parents (plus a hedgehog pincushion and a sewing machine trinket box added by my mum).

Christmas presents

Which brings me back to the quotation at the top of this post. It is taken from the final scene of the film 'Brooklyn', slightly altered by me to fit the theme of something as well as someone. This has become one of my favourite films, and not just for the costumes. Although the character is talking here about starting a new life in a new country, I always feel that it applies just as well to widowhood. When my husband died, after 20 years together I really couldn't imagine any sort of pleasurable life without him, and this feeling persisted for a long time. But going back to studying, possibly because it was so utterly different from anything I had expected to do, provided a framework for something which wasn't just my old life with a Mr Tulip-shaped hole at its centre.

One of the very few positives of this year (and I'm well aware that I have a hugely privileged life compared to a great many others) has been the discovery that, almost without realising it, I have built a new life for myself which is satisfying enough to make me miss it when it's temporarily suspended, and greatly look forward to getting it back.

For anyone mourning losses at the end of this dismal year, I hope that one day the sun does come out for you, too.


  1. Always a pleasure to read your blog, particularly so during this dreadful year. I look forward to the posts of 2021. Happy New Year to you

    1. Thank you Kate, and a Happy New Year to you, too.

  2. What a wonderful reflection on this past year, and the bright spots in it! I keep thinking to write a similar year-end post, as there have been some good things in this otherwise terrible year, all the more good because of the terrible, and perhaps as a result thereof as well. I'm so happy to hear that you are finding a good life with sunshine these days, and wish you many years and congrats on the completion of your master's degree! I remember how that felt too, and the relief and joy of finishing it. (Started a PhD but had to stop when the babies came faster than I could keep up with, but there it is...I continue to learn and grow in other ways beyond the primarily academic).

    1. Thank you Juliana, here's hoping for a far better year ahead.

  3. Congratulations on your many achievements this year! I love the message of hope that this post brings. Here's to a new year of new possibilities - have a happy 2021!