Tag Archives: 1970s

The lovely Mr Friedman

  Dean Friedman keeps popping into my head. Or rather the slightly nasal voice of Mr Friedman singing his only UK hit, Lucky Stars, in 1978.  

There’s a line in it that starts Well how am I supposed to feel…? which seems quite pertinent as I’m not sure how I am supposed to feel right now. On Tuesday I finished 15 daily sessions of radiotherapy, and I feel all sorts of things.  

I’m hugely relieved that the radiotherapy is over, as it means I’m one step closer to life returning to normal (even if I’m not sure quite what that is ). But I also feel other emotions that I seem to have little control over, and which mean I can go from reasonably ok one minute to absolutely dreadful the next. 

In no particular order these include: guilt (about anything and everything really, but particularly because I terminated my pregnancy as a result of the cancer diagnosis, and because I’m not currently earning an income – I am however still running a home and looking after a family); anger; overwhelming sadness; disbelief that all this has happened to me; a childish feeling of being incredibly hard done by; and, let’s be honest, envy – why do some people seem to go through life unscathed while others have far more than their fair share to deal with? 

Sometimes I am also utterly bored by the whole thing: I’d love to be able to shut off and pretend none of the last few months have happened. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem possible. 

I know from experience that in time these feelings will pass and some sort of normal life will resume. In the meantime I suppose I could distract myself by working my way through the whole of Mr Friedman’s back catalogue. Which might be no bad thing.

Canadian smocking

When I was at primary school the good girls got to make really kitsch pleated cushions (it was the ’70s); I am not sure what the bad girls got to make.

Being a good girl, I’ve decided to have another go at the RKPCs as a) I’m convinced they must be in vogue once again (or will be soon), and b) it’ll stop me spending quite so much time thinking about cancer.

Scarily, I can remember almost word for word Sister Basil’s instructions for making the RKPCs (one of the many benefits of attending a convent school). Apart, that is, from how much bloody fabric you need to make the things. As a result I will end up with something that looks rather more like a bolster (or possibly a fat draught excluder) than the sumptuous boudoir cushion I had in mind.

It’s been quite enjoyable though, not least because I got to discover The Cloth House in Berwick Street. I also spent a happy hour Googling the real name for RKPCs and came across both some wonderful 1970s sewing patterns and the correct term for Sister Basil’s sewing technique: Canadian Smocking.

Here’s what my handiwork looks like so far. Unfortunately the pic doesn’t do justice to the beautiful turquoise velvet it’s made from….