Back in April 2020 I published this blog post, about death. In fact it was a thinly veiled comment on how I was feeling personally, dealing with the death of my own mother at the start of February 2020. She didn’t die of COVID-19, but of something else that took full advantage of her well developed lung cancer. I’d looked after her for more than 2 years, and all that time we knew it (or something like it) was coming. She wasn’t keen on the thought of dying so we rarely discussed it. But still, we did have time to prepare.

Just 6 weeks after she had died, I found myself at home all day every day as a result of the coronavirus control measures, in the house my husband and I had rented specifically so that my mother could live with us. The need for me to work from home forced us to tidy her away. In her room I had given my mum all sorts of personal care, held her hand, brough her meals and her drugs, seen doctors and paramedics… we had to turn it upside down so that I could face coming in here every day to work. I’m still here now, writing this post.

Knitwitter came along at the same time and early on in the lockdown it was certainly a very welcome distraction. At this time we obviously couldn’t meet up at all, so Becky and I were communicating entirely by text message and video call, me from my mum’s old room in Bristol and Becky up high in her attic in Bath. We were both seperated from each other, and hidden away from our respective Boy, mine called John, hers called Shane.

And all things being fair and equal, that’s how it should have continued. And as lockdown eased, we should have been able to emerge from isolation, stop hiding away, meet up, share meals, trade stories, encourage people to knit and crochet, dream and plan. And we should now (September) be gearing up for a great big exhibition of a database made of yarn.

But on the evening of the 15th June, it all stopped, because Becky’s Boy Shane, he died. Just like that. A sickening, tragic event without cause or reason. Unfair, brutal, and really, really fucking horrible.

What happened next is really not my story to tell, however it is safe to assume that Knitwitter has not been a priority for either of us for many weeks. But with the gentle and kind support of Becca and Martha at Control Shift Network, Knitwitter and Wisterlitz will still be part of the festival in October, albeit in a slightly revised format. And given what a shockingly, tragically, incredible year 2020 has been, in so many ways, this one small thing is truly remarkable and humbling.

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