Happy New Year to you all.
It seems as if we are taking one step forward and two steps back. The announcement of the vaccine roll out raised our hopes but the rapid spread of the new variant dashed them again. We are back in lock down and the timescale for vaccinations seems much longer than originally hoped. Some of our ladies are in the highest priority group and have already had their first vaccination, only to learn the three week follow up has been postponed. Some will have to wait many months.
It is now highly unlikely Oasis will be able to meet at St George’s Hall until the second half of the year – a depressing thought.
Let us hope that, as the weather improves, we may be able to meet outside, as some of us did at Fairhaven Gardens and Bressingham in 2020. These were truly wonderful days in an otherwise bleak year. I do hope Theresa and Lorraine will continue to ‘facilitate’ these outings.
Some of you will remember that the journalist and author Jan Morris died in November, 2020. I didn’t know much about Jan Morris until her death prompted me to find out more. Hers was an extraordinary life. Born James, she began to transition in 1964 and travelled to Morocco in 1972 for gender reassignment surgery. In 1974 she published Conundrum, an account of her life. I was touched that Venetia gave me a copy for Christmas. It is a beautifully written book and I recommend it to you most highly. Here are two short extracts to give you a flavour.
“I was three or perhaps four years old when I realised I had been born into the wrong body, and should really be a girl. I remember that moment well, and it is the earliest memory of my life.
I was sitting underneath my mother’s piano and her music was falling around me like cataracts, enclosing me as in a cave. The round stumpy legs of the piano were like three black stalactites, and the sound-box was a high dark vault above my head. My mother was probably playing Sibelius, for she was enjoying a Finnish period then, and Sibelius from underneath a piano can be a very noisy composer…”
Morris read Man into Woman, the story of Einar Wegener (the Danish girl) which tells how Einar tragically died the year following her surgery. When Morris was in her early twenties, she writes:
“… the older I grew, the more abjectly I realized, when I allowed myself the melancholy thought, that I would rather die young than live a life of falsehood. A falsehood to whom, you may ask, since I was to all appearances unequivocally a man? A falsehood to me.”
I found it immensely moving.
In the meantime, take care of yourselves and stay well and I look forward to seeing some of you at our next Zoom Meeting on Saturday 16th January.
I urge you to please follow the rules and have the vaccination as soon as it is offered so that we can all meet up again at the earliest opportunity.
Love and best wishes to you all,