False Dawns

I started a blog on my website but found the tech unworkable. I’m no techie but normally my Mac does all that for me. Unfortunately my webhosts, lovely hosts in every other way, don’t mesh with Mac at a level that lets me just upload from iWeb. Every single basic function became fraught with difficulty. For the first time in years, the Magic Apple didn’t protect me, so I decided to do what I always tell myself to do when I’m speaking or teaching: start where they are.  So here I am, trying WordPress and hoping it’ll work out. I’ve discovered I like blogging. It’s fast, easy and a great way to post all those opinions that the popular press unaccountably has no niche for. So here goes on my odyssey of news, views, reviews and the same kind of trivia you can get anywhere on the Web. Don’t come to me for insights, Grasshopper, they only happen by accident. Opinions, though, opinions we can do.

So, for those of you who haven’t come here from my website but for some unaccountable reason been directed here by our new pathfinder gods the search engines, this is me: Helen McCarthy, writer, speaker, designer, editor, costumer, needleworker, traveller, trainer and cook.  Go and have a look at the website – hard as it is to update, it’s the first one I ever made and I like it. I’ll work out how to update it soon enough. A great deal of thought and a refusal to admit defeat solve most problems.

Not all, though. On the train back from Lewes yesterday,  I was browsing through my diary  for the first time this week. (Yes, on a Wednesday. It was that kind of weekend.)  That’s why I know that it was two years ago yesterday. I didn’t remember, but I wanted to, which is why I wrote it down.

Two years ago yesterday our dear friend Vaunda Perry called to tell us she had been diagnosed with cancer. A long and apparently minor series of niggly illnesses and subsequent investigations had led to the discovery of a sarcoma in her stomach. She fought like a lion and lived like it was forever, until last August, finally, there wasn’t any more she could do.

I miss her like hell. We both do – my partner and I loved her the way you get to love people if you’re really lucky: unconditionally, absolutely, and returned in full measure. She was a fabulous woman, literally, a creature of fable, the sort of person you only expect to find in hero-tales, flawed and funny and ferociously human. I’ll probably write more about her when the first anniversary of her death comes around, but for now I’m just glad I wrote that note in my diary, because having had someone like that in your life is not something you want to forget. And I’m proud to be able to write about her, because having her as a friend was and is an honour.

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