What can I say about 2021 that I didn't say about 2020?
It has been a very quiet and peaceful year. I've had time to potter about, make things, dig the allotment - all those things you wish you could do when your calendar is chock-a-block with appointments. However, the enjoyment of these quiet pleasures does loose something when the counterfoil is missing.
In October, something changed in the world of work and the phone and email started up again. The last three months have packed in at least six months' of work. I can't say I really enjoyed that sensation, but it was good to get out and about and to see people and textiles again.
I've dodged Covid so far as has the family, although 6 hours on a Cross Country train did seem like madness. I caught a common-or-garden cold from my client and crashed like a felled tree, having got very soft in the last 18 months.
The Textile Society benefitted from my personal lockdown. If you are not already a member, please do consider joining up. The Society is a great place to meet and exchange news. Join up here: https://www.textilesociety.org.uk/ and enjoy the events, the conference and the Fairs (next one in April in Manchester). It would be great to see you there and you would be supporting the bursary programme, which has been funded this year largely from reserves.
I continued to edit Text, the society's annual journal, which is due out in early January. Editing on my own in the absence of my brilliant co-editor, Clare, was a trial I don't wish to repeat. As a result, I was firmly minded to forbid her to have any more babies - right up to the point where she sent me a picture of her daughter, who I am looking forward to meeting in the flesh in 2022.
I have given three online lectures on fashion on the V&A fashion course platform and have attended a lot of Zoom lectures on the web. I really do enjoy these opportunities to find out about new research and to ask questions - opportunities that location and time would not allow in normal times. Some lectures were briliant, some extraordinarily entertaining and some were a bit dull, as you would expect, but long may they continue. They are game changers in my opinion. It gives those of us who are not academics the chance to find out what is happening and even to contribute to our field, long before books are published.
I haven't seen many exhibitions, obviously, but the Chintz exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey was remarkable and full of gems. Bags Inside Out at the V&A was much, much more than the label fest I expected - forgive me for being so prejudiced, but I was influenced by the noise around the It Bag. It too showed us some perfect gems. You can see a few snaps I took in the Gallery. I enjoyed the Textile Society's much postponed actual trips to see The Regency Wardrobe at Firle and the London Transport Museum trip to see their moquettes and their impressive art collection. I also visited the newly-reopened Warner Archive in Braintree. I was the only non-weaver in the group, which gave me a lot of interesting insights.
So that is my Review of 2021. I really look forward to seeing you again in 2022.