It’s my birthday and I am sitting here reflecting on the past year. I have a cup of rooibos tea and the sun is shining and darling N brought me salmon bagels for breakfast in bed, with a book, card and presents and R brought me a hand-drawn card of Russell Brand holding a kitten which made me laugh as he so wants a kitten. At six foot four, my boy is turning out like my father; a gentle giant, with a beautiful chiseled face and the softest eyes.
Over the past year, I have been cynical, skeptical, distrustful, ‘mefiante’ as the French say, of practically anything the government has told me. It reminds me of the boy who cried ‘wolf’, and no one believed him. Only this time, the boy was the government and the W.H.O. Little wonder really, as the world has been so polarised, and every little thing so politicised, and especially with a government which let me down so badly regarding Brexit, and memories of the Iraq war and countless other incursions against my pacifism, it was hard to acquiesce. I will never truly acquiesce, as I have the artist’s rebellious nature, but I have a certain acceptance, understanding and humility and acknowledge now that I have been wrong to a certain degree. I even caught covid. Not through wantonly hugging people or licking door handles, but simply through Christmas shopping with a friend, wanting to support local businesses and not just Amazon, and probably picking it up somewhere that day. Luckily it was a mild case for me, and I stayed away from people for weeks and months thereafter, but I have antibodies and hope they last. It is important to be wrong and know that you can be a multitude of things and hold a multitude of opinions about a subject, especially when so many things we held dear were denied us, and everything single aspect of the control of the pandemic, including all the signs and semiotics seen everywhere, fed into every conspiracy narrative I have always regarded with questions and thought of possibility. We were told not to see our elderly parents, and my mother spent Christmas alone. It was her decision. Now my darling Mum has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and we saw her so much less during the past year, although naturally as a family we did break the rules, as perhaps deep down we knew something was amiss. She is not in any pain. I will go and see her shortly. I look at all the pots and ceramics she has made over the past few years, mastering the art of colour and glazes, with her usual lust for life and thirst for knowledge and experience of new things. She is or always was, a tour de force, an indomitable woman, who achieved so much and put everything into her life. Even the past few years in her house by the beach, she has grown vegetables in raised beds, had midsummer tea parties, with hat competitions and sales of plants and ceramics with all proceeds to S Michael’s Hospice. She managed to achieve so much, as a viticulturist, tree warden, traveler, scholar, linguist, singer, adventurer, all while having four children and living in several different countries, including Australia and France. Listening to Bach and jazz, especially the piano, will always be my connection to her. She is my mother. I hope she is finding a certain peace. I love her. Now to go out a seize the day!