Thursday, 1 January 2015


As 2015 begins, it is time for me to look back at the past year and to let my followers know why I've been away for so long.
2014 was very eventful for me to say the least, so let me start at the beginning.
February: My late mother's house was finally sold and my sister and I looked forward to receiving the inheritance and a more comfortable life. It was our reward for our hard work on the clearing and decorating of the house for over 18 months. Whilst having this money was exciting, it was also sad because the house was the last physical link we had to our Mum.
May: My good friend Maria and I went away on a super four day break to the Kingcombe Centre in Dorset to a workshop using the embellisher with Sandra Coleridge. Surroundings were brilliant, food was fantastic, company was good and the course was fun, informative and something different.
Also in May, the Embroiderers' Guild branch we are both members of had a two week exhibition in Bishops Caundle, Dorset as part of Dorset Arts Weeks. It was very well attended and we both sold a number of items.
June: My eldest son announced that he had booked his wedding date for May 2015 but my youngest son left home to live in New Zealand, first plans were for 18 months but with the possibility of making it permanent. Also during this month my husband first became unwell with constant back pain and various tests and investigations didn't seem to help the doctors to make a diagnosis.
July: Our world fell apart...after a weekend of pain and loss of feeling in his legs, my husband was admitted to hospital for more tests and this time the doctors had the answers but not what we wanted to hear. He was diagnosed with a lung cancer but also it had already spread to his spine, hence the loss of feeling in his legs. He was transferred to another hospital for a week of radiotherapy on his spine and then stayed in for a further two weeks for further tests and biopsies.
August: By now my husband had been allowed to come home and we had the endless round of hospital visits for chemotherapy, consultant appointments, scans and xrays and at home we had constant visits from all the community staff arranging the care and various equipment to try to make our lives easier. By the end of the month it had been confirmed that the cancer had also spread to his brain and various other places. Our son in New Zealand decided to come home, so it had ruined his life and plans too.
September: Treatment was continuing for my husband, but for every one thing that seemed to help him, it caused multiple problems that did not - almost like one step forward but three back. His breathing became more difficult and another scan revealed he had a blood clot on the lung and fluid too, all alongside the tumour.  Morphine was now being increased to help him with his breathlessness and our days were dominated by waiting for the nurses to come to the house to replenish the pump and the fact that he needed to go everywhere in a wheelchair now due to the difficulty in breathing.
October: This month started quite brightly as he seemed to have an upturn for a while but it was all misleading and very difficult for me and the 'travelling' son (who was living with us again) because by the middle of month he had passed away. Our great achievement as a family was that we were able to nurse him at home together and that his passing was peaceful and pain free.
November: I had the need to have time away from the house and I took myself away to a self-catering cottage for a week in Yorkshire - photos below.
December: A difficult time for all of us as we spent our first Christmas and New Year without him and knew that we were not a family anymore but a mother and two sons now.
I got through this terrible time because of my sons, family, two dear and patient friends and the two community nurses from the surgery.
The future: now that 2015 is here I have a number of plans for my textile work and have booked two workshop holidays away - March, back to Kingcombe, Dorset with my embellisher and April, off to Barnstaple, North Devon with Maria for a four day workshop with Alison Holt.
Things will always be different and sometimes difficult now but I promised that I would live life for the two of us and that's exactly what I intend to do.





  1. Phew Gillian - that is some year. It's a bit difficult to know quite what to say. Hopefully the wedding will be wonderful, your wandering son will find his next path and most of all your creativity will carry you through. Thanks for visiting my own blog. Hilary

  2. Hi Gillian - thanks for your comment on my blog - your update here has really made me realise that things are not bad at all for me - I resolve to stop moaning for the rest of 2015 :-) Maybe might see/meet you sometime this year ?


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