Tuesday, 23 December 2014

A time for family and friends

Our recent sadness continued with the sudden loss of a very dear friend only last week - and he was one of life's true gentlemen. Bill was the "sales face" of both my William Morris Appliqué books and he had only just recently stopped working. He drove with his car full of my books as he promoted and sold them to shops around the state. I remember him dearly for his kindness, wise words and endless support and especially for a gift of one of my very first William Morris roses which he delivered to our new home some years ago……..

 Bill would phone regularly to catch up for a coffee and I will miss our little natters…so cruel to be taken before he could truly enjoy retirement with his darling Marlene. But as they say life must go on, so with that in mind I recently spent a wonderful afternoon with daughter number two. Sophie and I went on a historical stroll through some of Adelaide's past at the Z Ward Glenside where the criminally insane were housed many years ago. The building is earmarked for restoration but for now we can see a little of its past. I can recall my late Mother sharing her experience as a patient at Glenside in 1943….not in this wing though! Mum suddenly developed confusion and seizures at the age of 19 and was admitted for an unknown cause. She can recall the bars on the windows and if it hadn't been for getting a chest infection one wonders what the outcome would have been. She was given penicillin for the infection which "cured" her confusion and seizures. Finally a lumbar puncture revealed she actually had meningitis - amazing how far we have come in such a short time! Anyway the "Z Ward" was for the criminally insane and the conditions are certainly not appealing. The exterior of the building is wonderful and quite unique to our state. Built in the 1880's it has some characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movement in its brickwork…..

Barely enough room for a bed in each room and the bathroom pretty awful…….

Years of feet have worn away the front step……...

So it was an interesting interlude - thanks for the idea Sophie! This week I have had a birthday…never a good time just a week before Christmas and my friends and family have put up with my complaining about it every year! But this year was lovely starting with lunch and special friends…..and yes that is the famous Lessa and Faye folks!!……(And Larry was really there behind Vicki despite the obscure image!)….
Then dinner that night with Debbie and Gary - friends of over 40 years and it was very special. We are sad that we don't see them more often as they live over 380kms away (236 miles), but when we do we just pick up from where we left off…..
I received lots of lovely cards and flowers which makes a girl feel extra special……
Flowers from my Monday sewing buddies and more from everyone at Curzon fabrics…..
 And from Deb and Gary the most gorgeous potted indoor orchid. I have admired these every time we go to the UK as they are often seen in windows especially in the Cotswolds, so now I have my own on my work desk…….
 From Brett, Emily and the little ones I received a piece of Jim Shore reflecting my love of all things A.A. Milne - especially Eeyore and from Larry two days at the Embroiderers' Guild of South Australia's  Summer School in January …
And from Sophie and Tim I received a wonderful Jurlique voucher…..thanks family for all my gifts xx Another surprise came in the post and a very poignant piece………thanks Jude xx
 Delma had given several of us an end of year gift which also sums it up (thanks Delma xx), and then Kay snuck a little gift in my bag of a William Morris sketchbook……..(thanks Kay xx)…..
During the week I received this gorgeous vintage book in the post….a little "cheer me up" from Dot and I was fascinated to read about the author Joan Walsh Anglund who wrote the book in the 1950's and is still writing……
And even more(!!)….we received a lovely gift from Nydia and Ken of Thorngrove Manor. A beautiful advent calendar of William Morris's Adoration of the Magi. I have enjoyed seeing what is inside each little window………Thanks Ken and Nydia xx

And just when you think a girl has really received enough another little gift came today! Another divine little pin keeper lovingly stitched once again by Dot and even with my initials….thankyou Dot xx
The family are coming for dinner on Christmas Eeve and everything is ready including a brand new lounge suite for the family room - nothing like I planned though. I dreamt of traditional cream studded couches in the chesterfield style but practicality and grandchildren won!…..

 So from our house to yours….we hope you have a lovely Christmas just the way you want it to be x


  1. you have so many wonderful friends - so many thoughtful gifts and flowers you are truly blessed you know - I never receive gifts like that DH always just says to pick something out - even for Christmas this year as he "doesn't know what to get" I'm not complaining, I'm just saying you are blessed with the thoughtfulness of others
    Sorry to hear of another death of one that you care for - so sad.

  2. You are indeed loved by many, those who know you and those who want to know you face to face. For now I am content to know you through your blog, books, fabric and fabulous designs. I love you and your family and send my best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and Happy Belated birthday.
    Margaret in Texas where it's chilly.

  3. Happy birthday and Merry Christmas to you. I hope 2015 is filled with joy, good friendship and plenty of stitching.

  4. Happy belated birthday, Michele! So sorry for your loss. Keep him with you with your memories. Great photos as usual.

  5. so happy the sadness in your week was tempered by all your birthday celebrations. May you keep the happiness going through this festive season.

  6. I remember Bill from our days in our shop - a sweeter, kinder man you couldn't hope to meet. I have only the best thoughts of him. I was so saddened to read that he had passed. If you see Marlene, please pass on our condolences, and our love.

    Suzie (and Kate) from Renmark

  7. So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Bill, words can never express the concern and understanding for friends at these times.
    The new lounge suite looks lovely and yes practicality sometimes wins us round.
    It never ceases to amaze me that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places, like the exterior of a building that to some must have felt like a jail.
    Take care.


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