Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Post Christmas, Pre New Year

This time of year is always a bit strange. Christmas seems to be over in no time and then you are waiting for the New Year and then it's back to work. I never seem to achieve much during the Christmas holidays and yet the time vanishes so quickly.

We had a nice couple of days with my family over Christmas. It was great to see our nieces and nephews and we enjoyed good food. Shona and Sienna came back here on Boxing Day and I took them back yesterday. They had a good time and so did we, but it's always nice to take them back home and have that return to normality.
I knitted only a few Christmas presents this year. Last year's epic was never going to be repeated. My Mum loved her Kaffe Fassett socks, though my sisters did wonder where theirs were. The yarn is: Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett, colour way 4354 Landscape : Amazon.

My Dad also received a pair of socks. These are being modelled by Ezzie and were finished on Christmas Day. Luckily, I didn't see my Dad until the evening so there was time to wrap them and he was none the wiser. These socks were made from the second ball of sock yarn I ever bought. They have been in the stash since January 2007 but when my Dad said he wanted 'a boring colour' I was really pleased that this yarn would get used. Most of my socks are in bright and loud colours, so it is good to remember that they are not for everyone. The yarn is Zitron Trekking Pro Natura. The colour way? Who knows. Boring Blue.

I did make a friend some personalised Irish socks for Christmas. These were made from Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Socka in colour ways 1001 Natural and 1006 Grass. The orange was supposed to be in the same yarn in colour way 1008 Mango but I couldn't get hold of any so it was substituted for Opal Uni in Orange 6. I think they look great.

It's nice to write about completed projects, especially with socks because they usually get given away and only briefly seen when someone crosses their legs. I actually feel I have achieved something recently.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Needing a break

It's been a while since I posted. Life has been really hard during December and blogging just didn't feel like a priority.

Since my last post about my Auntie Ona, Ezzie's Grandad died. He had been ill for a long time, but it was still a massive blow and deeply upsetting. I went to my Auntie's funeral and then five days later was at Walter's funeral. It's been really hard and so we're not a bundle of laughs at the moment.

As for Christmas, well it does heighten the grief you are feeling. You feel they should be here, spending time with you, but unfortunately they are not. We're going to my Auntie's this year and are looking forward to seeing family and give them their presents.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Auntie Ona

On Saturday morning I received the sad news that my Auntie Ona had died. When I tell people this, it just doesn't feel true. I feel everything has changed forever and I'm really struggling at the moment.

Auntie Ona was actually my Great Aunt. I know to some people that may seem like a distant relative, but I always felt really close to her and she has been a major part of my life. Auntie Ona was also my godmother so I've always felt a connection to her.

I know that at 80 she has had a good innings, as they say. She has two children and has had a happy marriage, having recently celebrated her golden anniversary. However, despite reflecting on her great life, I still feel she has gone too soon and I feel incredibly empty.

I only have fantastic memories of her. She was a generous and selfless woman who made you feel great about yourself. She really loved me and knew how to show that love.

When we were younger she and my Uncle John lived in a bungalow with a large garden and fields. When we got to the final traffic lights before the bungalow my cousins and I would spontaneously sing a song where the only lyrics were "Auntie Ona's". It was sheer excitement to get there; you couldn't get there fast enough. I remember once waking up in the car as we pulled onto the drive and being so happy to have woken up there; I'd not missed anything, I'd not missed any time there.

Boxing Day was always spent at my Auntie Ona's and we had great family parties there. I really don't like bananas so she would make the fruit salad without them because she knew how much I loved fruit salad. I remember the first time I ever ate melon was at her house. It tasted so sweet but I think I loved it because it was at her house and everything was great there.

We used to play in the spare bedrooms and there were all her children's toys which were from the fifties and sixties, yet they seemed so much more exciting and enchanting than our own toys.
We played board games, were allowed to use the remote control on the television (ours didn't have a remote) and generally enjoyed each other's company.

My grandma has a photograph of me in Auntie Ona's garden wearing an oversized knitted jumper which she gave to me. It was miles too big and in the photo I'm upset because people have been asking me to take it off for the photo, but I insisted on wearing it. I'm about four years old, but I think I must have loved my Auntie Ona dearly even then.

I cannot believe I'm going to her funeral next week. It just doesn't seem possible. She has been a giant in my life and I cannot believe she's not with me anymore. Last year I knitted her some socks, which she loved, and earlier this week I found the remainder of the wool just to remind myself of how much I loved making her those socks.

She had a great voice and a great laugh and I can't believe I'm not going to hear them again. She meant the world to me. I really miss her.