Serena’s January Message

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,


One thought on “Serena’s January Message

  1. Serena’s message is a good read. I have not read Jan Morris’ book but I am motivated to purchase a copy.
    My message is really the same as everybody else which is stay safe stay positive and look forward to the sun shining again and long summer evenings.
    Personally I am pleased to say an orthopaedic surgeon has agreed my arthritic knees need replacing with titanium ones or whatever material they now use! However,of course, the queue is now longer than the Ocado queue for “essential ” shopping.
    A pet hate, presently, when it comes to shopping why are so many people still so addicted to dressing up in a face mask and pushing a wire pram around supermarkets and too often getting up close and personal to me.! I know other people have other situations however my nearest supermarket is exactly two miles away. Between there and my house on route one I can pass three convenience stores four takeaways and a fishmonger. Alternative route has two convenience stores four (yes four) chemists a bakers a frozen food thingy (Iceland) and a butchers so quite why would I want to join a throng. Incidentally probably every octogenerian didn’t experience the thrill of a supermarket in the UK for the first three decades of their lives and they survived! How we must wonder?
    Wife and I have been getting out for walks and cycle rides. The walk around the perimeter of the golf course over the road is around 8000 steps. More when I play and it is not how I hit the ball.!. but I have been continuing Pilates at home. Any lady interested the NHS web site has very good videos relating to both Pilates and Yoga and are well worth using up some lockdown time viewing.
    On a plus or is it a minus note there aint half some bargains out there to update our wardrobes. Minus side is where do we stack the charity shop items until the shops re-open.
    I have rambled so enough for now must get my literary skills out of the closet and dusted down.


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