14.03.12

This is my father. He died when I was 23. I loved him very much.

(52 years old. At my sister’s wedding in 1988, with one of his nieces.)

(13 years old. Back row, second boy from left.)

(18 years old. Just entered the Royal Navy)

(32 years old. With my brother & sister.)

(58 years old. At my wedding.)

(55 years old. I cropped the whiskey glass out of this one. He’s kissing my cheek, don’t worry!)

(41 years old. I am 2 years old in the second photo.)
My dad was a good man. He was flawed, aren’t we all? But he was fundamentally good. He was incredibly kind and loving, and surprisingly wise. Everyone I knew came to him with their problems. He always knew what to say to make you feel better, to help you unravel a problem. You felt safe with him.

We were very close. I was the baby of the family, and my brother & sister left home when I was very young, so I was, in effect, an only child. I would sit on the sofa in my father’s study and read or write, while he drew architectural plans (a sideline that he was very talented in – the days before AutoCAD). We listened to Frank Sinatra. It was a very peaceful place to be. He was very proud of me. He would be even prouder if he knew what I’ve achieved in the years since his death. He would have got a real kick out of my book. He would have been fascinated by the internet businesses.

I have many of my father’s characteristics. Personality traits, appearance, and little quirks. He always sat with his toes pointing in. So do I. We have the same smile, the same thumbs. I can be a snob. I am overly conscious of what others think of me. I hate noise. I am solitary by nature.

One of the saddest things about my father’s death is the fact that I never got to know him as an adult. At 23 you may look like an adult, but you aren’t really grown up. Mature. So many of life’s experiences since then have revealed my father to me. I think we would have connected even deeper, if he’d lived until now. I can sympathise now with the weaknesses that angered me back then.

Keith Neil Dyer, 1936-1998.

You would have liked him. A lot.

Cupcakes!!

One of my very best friends is getting married on Saturday. I’m one of her bridesmaids, which is an honour. Last night we went out with a few friends, for dinner, and then back to their house for cupcakes. Boy, I have been agonising over the perfect cupcake for the occasion, and settled on pink champagne cupcakes with a boozy strawberry on top. Festive and pretty, don’t you think?

I’ve never baked cupcakes before, and never iced anything either, so it was a bit nerve wracking, but I’m thrilled with how they came out. Tooth achingly sweet, but isn’t that what cupcakes are all about?

We had them with extra champagne (it would have been rude not to, don’t you think?), sitting up late, chattering and giggling, lit by fairy lights and candles. The perfect evening. Food, friends, fun.

This is Mama Val, someone very dear to me, a friend, a mentor, an inspiration, a comfort, a joy, and the source of some of our colourway names! I don’t know how I would have got through the last 6 months without her strength and wisdom and love. If the lighting wasnt so wonky, you’d be able to see her awesome hair – cherry streaked, ready for the wedding day (she is mama of the bride). She rocks. I hope that one day I’m half as cool/funny/plucky/creative/fun/naughty as she is.

I LOVE this photo. These are my girls. From left to right, Sarah, my right hand woman at Posh HQ, funny, feisty, down to earth, easy to be around, loves food as much as I do, always cheers me up however I’m feeling. Rebecca, my fellow bridesmaid, sister of the bride, and Rachel, the bride herself. These two girls are more like family than friends, and I love them dearly. We had one of the most fun trips I’ve ever been on when we went to America together in 2009. They speak my language. They know when to laugh and when to cry. They always make me feel like I matter. They love food, and wine, and Anthropologie, and fairy lights, and fresh flowers, and fabulous shoes. When I was really bad with depression, they checked up on me all the time, drove 15 miles just to give me a 5 minute hug, brought me flowers, and generally kept me going.

I can’t wait for Saturday. I’m going to take (and have Tony take) a million photographs. It’s going to be such a special day, and I don’t want to forget a minute of it.

Valerie

As you know, all of the yarns in our range are named after women. To begin with, I picked names that I thought sounded Posh (lots of them from Georgette Heyer novels!), some of the earlier ones were Cordelia, Lucia, Seraphina, Henrietta. But as our range has swelled (I think we’ve had over 100 different yarns at one point or another), I’ve started picking out names for more than just their sound. I’ve started using names that mean something to me, from people I find inspirational.

When we first got the cobweb weight merino/silk/cashmere, I didnt have to look far for the right name for it. Valerie is a very dear friend of mine, more family than friend, really, and she is someone I really look up to. She is truly Posh. Would you like to meet her? I thought you might…………

Do you remember the two friends I went to America with recently? Well, Valerie is the mum of these two lovelies (who have an equally lovely brother). So I grew up with her in my life, albeit as the mother of my friends. But in the last couple of years, we’ve grown really close, and any generation gap that might have existed when I was a kid has vanished now. Mind you, that’s partly because Val has the secret of eternal youth (just like Tony!). She’s one of the wisest women I know, and has certainly been through her share of trials, but she’s never lost her sense of fun, of excitement, of curiosity, and of joie de vivre. She embodies joie de vivre. I hope that one day I might be as strong as she is, as capable, as brave. She is incredibly honest, and faithful, and true to herself. She’s really funny too. 

She’s also one of the most loving people I know, and its no coincidence that her family is one of the happiest, most supportive, most joyous families that I know of. These people really know how to have fun, how to make a holiday out of an ordinary day. I love that about them. 

I feel very blessed indeed to have Valerie’s friendship in my life, and I try my best to be a good friend to her to, by being supportive, and telling her how much I value and love her. I don’t think that Val has to try; it comes naturally to her to be nurturing and kind and supportive. I would like to think that she’s a good influence on me. I wish I was more like her.

She’s also very good at coming up with colourway names, some of my recent favourites are actually from her. And she patiently taught me to crochet last week. Thank you Val! You are an inspiration in every possible way. Don’t ever change. Not one teeny bit.

     

My Best Friends

I’ve never been a girl’s girl. You know how some women have sisterhoods? Not me. I never felt like I fitted in with other women. I always felt more comfortable with guys. But recently, I’ve begun to realize that I do have my own sisterhood. I do have girlfriends that are there for me. They lift me up, they make me laugh, they support me. I just hope they know how much I love them. Here are a few of them, at a recent barbecue. Missing from the photo is Zara, one of my best friends, who you’ve met already (at Cariad Yarn). She was there, but not in this crazy photo. Here, from left to right, there’s Sarah (aka the Plucky Knitter, and my twin-separated-at-birth), me (~cringe~), Emma (my bestest-bestest friend), Rachel & Rebecca (Pilates buddies, and all round Cool Girls), Mama in the background, Jane on the far right (one of the funniest girls I know, and a knitter to boot!), Val (a wise woman with just enough craziness to make her lovable), and Rachel, who is wondering how she got into such a crazy frame. If this photo had Zara in it would be just about perfect. My sisterhood.