It’s been a very long time since I’ve added anything to my blog.  Over the last year I’ve been putting a lot of my energy into looking after my mum, and making sure she got the specialist care she needed. This became my priority and I’m glad that I was able to commit to it. She died peacefully in March at the ripe old age of 95. I wanted to mark this point of transition, in my life as well as hers, so here is a small celebratory gallery showing something of her great style and presence.  She will remain present to me as I have the fruits of her many years of creativity around me.  She was a wonderful dressmaker, embroiderer and quilt-maker, and her love of textiles, as well as a treasure-trove of actual fabrics, have come down to the generations that follow her.

Audrey Gertrude King, nee Welch.  3 July 1917 – 3 March 2013


Sorting Through: Liz Lochhead

The moment she died, my mother’s dresses turned from the colours they really were

to the colours I imagine them to be.

I can feel the weight of bumptoed silver shoes

swinging from their anklestraps as she swaggers up

the path towards her dad, light-headed from airman’s kisses. Here, at what I’ll have to learn

to call my father’s house, yes every ragbag scrap of duster prints her even more vivid

than an Ilford snapshot on some seafront in a white cardigan and that exact frock – .

Old lipsticks. Liquid stockings.

Labels like Harella, Gor-ray and Berketex.

As I manhandle whole outfits into binbags for Oxfam

every mote in my eye is a utility mark

and this is useful;

the sadness of dispossessed dresses,

the decency of good coats roundshouldered in the darkness of wardrobes,

the gravitas of lapels,

the invisible danders of skin fizzing off from them

like all that life that will not neatly end.

(From ‘The Colour of Black and White’. Poems 1984-2003)

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