Pillow returns home again.

Four years ago a pillow left Cornwall for a journey that shows no sign of ending. As I write this it is safely in a flat in Wimbledon, following two months of a residency at the Austrian Cultural Forum
https://www.acflondon.org/

The Pillow is part of ‘Pillow Talk – conversation with women’

Pillow Talk is a transportable installation featuring 59 pillows devised and curated by Mellisa Budasz, Jasmine Praddissitto, Kim Thornton and the late Moira Jarvis. Featuring the work of members of South London Women Artists.

Here is the story of the installations event at Tate Modern.
https://www.southlondonwomenartists.co.uk/tag/pillow-talk/

Each pillow was created by an artist to express how her creativity was inspired or shaped by another woman.

My pillow was inspired by my mother. Here it is with my daughter at Tate Modern.

There is a book to accompany the installation . Each artist wrote a brief explanation of their pillows story.

This blog is the longer story of my pillow.

I was my mother’s only child and the result of an unwanted pregnancy. I realise that this statement seems harsh but it was a truth she never attempted to hide from me. I am not at all unique, a large percentage of the human race are the result of unwanted pregnancies. Her unwanted pregnancy spurred her on to set up Family Planning clinics in a rural corner of Essex early in the 1960’s. She and a small group of friends set their clinics up under the umbrella of the Family Planning Association. Contraception freely available to all was not the organisations original mission. Contraception was only available to married women with written permission of their husbands, or Vicar in the case of soon to be married women.

My mum and her friends ran their clinics a little differently and offered contraception to anyone who wanted it and faked the male permissions. Progressive sexual literature was available and all women were encouraged to attend for smears.

Running these clinics was not without personal cost. There were occasional protests and stuff was put through the letter box at home. Our house was at one time surrounded by women pushing prams.

Eventually the country caught up with North East Essex and contraception and sexual health advice became freely and unquestionably available.

The pillow records the actions of normal anonymous women doing something forward thinking but not universally popular for all women in their community. Their strength of character is my creative inspiration.

The pillow on its latest outing.

And in the book.

Advent#30

Betwixtmas

The shapeshifting days of the festive season when some normality returns, a return to work perhaps or family members returning to their own homes. There is some normalcy but it’s still hard to actually name the day easily or give up on the notion that grazing is regular behaviour.

As a family we have a birthday within the Yuletide. So one day of Betwixtmas is always designated as a birthday gathering for all the available extended family. Including Hugo and Lola. The cast and destination change from year to year but it is always a little oasis of birthday bliss amongst the glitter and twink of the festive season.

Malpas was our destination of choice today. A river village not far from Truro.

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Malpas was new to most of us and we had a beautiful walk before we had lunch. It was a grey old day and all my photos were a bit ‘meh’ which is not a good look and somewhat dull for a blog.
We had a late, non festive lunch at the Heron Inn, the food was wonderful. The company was as familiar and convivial as usual, with an age range of 1 to 89, everyone left Malpas happy.

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http://www.heroninnmalpas.co.uk/

Even on a grey day Malpas was a picturesque spot. Just not so great for blogging photography

And so, back to Betwixtmas after a birthday interlude.

Tomorrow (Monday) sees another incremental edge on the normality scale. Tuesday the normality reading hits a plateau until 5pm when festive recidivism plunges everyone feet first into New Year’s Eve. Regardless of your view on New Years Eve it forces you to actively do something . Either to mark it in a positive way by staying up past midnight or to deliberately snub it by going to bed and ‘ missing all the fuss’

Before that though we have two more days of Betwixtmas to fill.

©theoldmortuary.design

Advent#26

Seaton Beach Christmas 2019

Christmas Day 2019 and the weather was very kind to us. It took extremely creative photography to make the beach seem as quiet and tranquil as this. There were hundreds of people and dogs taking in the sunshine .

The pre- turkey sandwich beach walking team.

Going back to Advent#24
https://theoldmortuary.design/2019/12/23/advent24/

Two strangers who discovered they were siblings, walking on a beach.

Advent#24

Christmas Eve, normally the last chocolate in the advent calender, however this blogs advent is going to stretch just into January to cover the whole of Yule, an all encompassing Advent.

 

Like many families we have a few empty chairs at Christmas . Grief and sadness is part of the festive season for many people.
But replenishment happens too. Sometimes in unexpected ways. Two years ago we bought an AncestryDNA kit for our brother/ brother-in-law.

AncestryDNA

The story is not ours to tell but here is a link to a radio programme that tells the tale, make a cup of tea it’s a good listen.

http://www.wypr.org/post/finding-family-dna-tests-help-two-strangers-discover-they-are-siblings

A consequence of the DNA kit is that we all have a whole new chunk of family in the USA.
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/dna/

Today these two lovely people arrived to spend Christmas with us


Also joining us for the first time is our adorable VV.

Families have a way of filling empty chairs.