Thinking back over 2012 my first reaction would be to say that it has been a tough year for our family, filled with difficult and sad times. But as I've looked back over my blog posts of the past twelve months I've seen that there have been lots of good times too. The year started with plans for an exhibition which we launched in February with a wonderful vintage style tea party... with posh china and masses of cake. A great success for Spectrum, the group that I mentor.
In March, Mum and I went on a trip of a lifetime, to New Zealand to visit Joe. At the time I wasn't sure when I would be seeing him again... little did I know! We had the most unforgettable experience in this wonderful country. We surfed down sand dunes, walked through rain forests, ate food cooked in hot springs, abseiled into caves, squeezed through tiny gaps to see glow worms and climbed back out again. Three generations on a road trip, having the time of their lives.
On my return it was back to work and the focus of much of my effort was on getting this phone box into the Mall Galleries in London to display my work. The exhibition ran at the end of May, although my excitement at seeing my work displayed in such a prestigious location was tinged with worry as Stewart discovered he was without a job and faced a summer of unemployment.
Despite the worry, like the rest of the nation we braved the awful wet weather at the beginning of June and joined in the celebrations for the Queen's jubilee, although more bad news was to come as we learned later that month that my Dad had cancer.
Through the sadness of the summer, I stitched some bunting for a lovely commission for the Cambridge Folk museum. Filled with memories of street parties and other celebrations, it was displayed at the museum to coincide with the Olympic torch arriving in Cambridge.
I was especially pleased to see this flag with my Dad's memories of the Coronation in 1953 displayed in the middle of the window.
This was my Dad in 1953 in his Royal Fusiliers Coronation uniform. He also remembered how much it rained that day too.
Sadly my Dad lost his battle with cancer on 28th August, the day after his 79th birthday and just four days after Joe arrived home to see him. But just over a week later Gill and I walked a ten mile starlight walk in support of the Garden House Hospice which felt like a positive thing to do, especially knowing Dad had sponsored me before he died.
And of course life goes on and there were more celebrations and happy times too. Sam achieved a distinction in his MA making me a very proud Mum at his graduation in October. I should probably also mention that James, my stepson also gained his PhD this year too but his graduation isn't until next May... so there will be photos then. Proud of them both.
There were milestone birthdays too as my eldest, Ben turned thirty and Jacob, my youngest, celebrated leaving his teens behind. Of course it goes without saying there was cake. There's always cake. And also by the end of October, Stewart was back in work which was a great relief.
Then there was more sadness last month as quite suddenly and unexpectedly our lovely old lab, Barley died, creating yet another huge gap in our lives.
So yes, a year tinged with sadness but it is good to remember the happy times too. Chistmas has been different this year without Dad, but we laughed and enjoyed ourselves... and it has come and gone quickly as it always does. I've been tring to use this 'limbo' period between Chistmas and New Year to tidy my space, gather my thoughts and mentally prepare for new challenges as I prepare to make 2013 a happy and postive year. I feel ready for change.
And so in my last post for 2012 I say out with the old... and in with the new... as I wish you all a very happy, healthy and positive New Year.