Sunday, 30 December 2012

Review and Reflection

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.

29 comments:

  1. You have had such a full and eventful year and I am pleased that there have been plenty of happy memories there to balance the sad ones. You seem to have come through with courage and fortitude. I hope 2013 will treat you all more kindly and be a very Happy New Year for you and your family.

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  2. I return your wishes ten fold. Well done for weathering all the sad times of 2012 and for enjoying the good times. Here's to a positive, fulfilling and creative 2013 xx

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  3. I wish you and your family a positive, happy and healthy 2013 Gina!

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  4. It's been an uppy downy year for me too, mirroring yours in many ways, but your blog always cheers me up - thank you, Gina and I wish you all you wish yourselves in 2013

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  5. what a good idea, to post a years 'round up'.I might borrow that for next year if thats OK.
    Best wishes for 2013.

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  6. you seem to get years like this.Nothing seems to go right.Christmas must have been awful without your Dad but you have come through it.Onwards and upwards.

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  7. You've certainly had a year to remember Gina, for many reasons. Well down for maintaining such a positive and inspiring blog. Here's to 2013!

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  8. I so much enjoyed watching your project develop from rough sketches of a girl and her cellphone, step by step, to an Exhibition. May 2013 bring us more of your textile art.

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  9. May 2013 be and exciting and joyful one for you and your family.

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  10. It has been an up and down year for you Gina and I know I only know you through blogging but I admire the way you have coped and carried on.
    Wishing you wonderful happy adventures in 2013!!!
    V xxx

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  11. It's been lovely discovering and reading your blog over the past few weeks Gina. Wishing you and your family a very peaceful and happy new year.

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  12. Gina, reading through your summary of your own view of 2012 has reminded me of why it is that I do visit here. You've such a clear voice, a true sense of family, a quirky view and lots of energy (said that before, I know) that really translates into you all your lovely art.

    I am so very glad to have gotten acquainted with you through blogging, and hope that someday we might actually sit down with a cup of tea/coffee, and Cake, and really chat for hours.

    Meanwhile, best wishes to you for a very Happy 2013. I'm already thinking about all the possibilities, and know that you are as well.

    xo

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  13. Happy New Year Gina, sometimes we all need positive thoughts to look at the good not the bad.

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  14. Our lives will always be a mix of happy and sad........I hope that the coming year brings you much more happy than sad moments Gina.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. x

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  15. What a roller coaster of a year it has been for you. Here's hoping that next year will be much more positive for you as you mentioned. Blessings on you and your family in the year ahead

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  16. A lovely blog Gina, it's very touching to see how much is positive in what seems an awful year, the good times have been really good, even the sad times trigger happy memories. Thank you for all your blogs.
    Annya

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  17. I'ts amazing what happens in a year when you look back and reflect. Always a mixed bag of happiness and sadness. Here's wishing you a happier year with less sadness. Your blog is such a delight to visit.x

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  18. What a thoughtful blog, Gina, I always love reading what you write. I do hope that 2013 brings many more happy moments than sad ones, and much creativity as well. A very happy New Year to you and yours. Cheers

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  19. It has been a year of ups and downs, following along here Gina, I hope for the best year for you all in 2013.

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  20. like you i have had my problems this year but also there has been love and support out there - I'm glad you can see the highs and lows - it helps to make us rounded - thanks for your blog that has chered me on my not so good times

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  21. It's definitely been a year of extremes for you Gina, so much sadness but great adventure and celebration too. I hope 2013 brings you much more of the latter x

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  22. what a year of highs and lows Gina. It has been good to share it with you. I'm glad you didn't decide to stop blogging, even the sad parts, and I'm looking forward to more of your lovely creativity in 2013. Happy New Year. xx

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  23. You certainly have had a year. Wishing you a very Happy 2013.

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  24. What an eventful year for you, with all the ups and downs of family life. All the best for 2013.

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  25. You certainly had a roller coaster of a year, Gina, I hope this year will be a little more even for you and is a good one. You keep a lovely blog and it's a joy to come here.

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  26. I know it's been a year of real highs and lows Gina but you are nothing if not resilient. You will turn all these experiences into ones for positive change. Is 2013 the year for that major change of direction I wonder? I sense a sea change and can't wait to see where it takes you! Have a fabulous year ahead. Already anticipating the landmark posts you'll be featuring this time next year...... xx (no pressure of course...)

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  27. Hi Gina.The knitting we saw in Cambridge was round a lamppost on the edge of Jesus Green as you walked from the Fort St George across Midsummer Common.Our son lives near the Fort and that is where we ate Christmas lunch.Our D-in-Law said there more around the city.

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  28. Gina I have only just read this post - it is wonderful and thank you for sharing with everyone. Life is so full of ups and downs and it is lovely to hear how you have weathered the storms. You and your family deserve a good 2013 so belated Happy New Year .

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  29. Your summary of 2012 really highlights the roller coaster year you had - such devastating lows, with such incredible highs. Here's wishing you a happy, healthy and enjoyable 2013. I look forward to seeing all your new wonderful creations (stitching AND food!)

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