SarahLizSewStyle Update


                         Image taken from the Australian Academy of Image Facebook Page

It's a very long time since I have written a blog post.  Life has been very full but not full of the activities that I enjoy!

In other words, sewing and allied activities have taken a back seat while life rather took over.

I don't want to go into details particularly.  Of course, we all had Covid to deal wtih.  My husband and I are also self employed, so had stresses associated with that.  I got quite upset when people were enjoying Covid lockdowns so they could sew a lot!  Jealous, almost...

And now we have a troubled world, with a war in Europe that shows no signs of ending.  The geopolitical stage is changing, along with the economic world, Much as I predicted it would 20 years ago.

As for my  husband, he had a bout of this and that over the last couple of years.  I also have had a few health problems. 

My husband has a number of medical issues he manages well, but he is quite demoralised and depressed at the moment.  He is getting older, still working, and unlike many people, knows full well what happens when you get older still.  Just in case you are wondering, he is older than me.  He may not have longevity or good genes on his side, I do have longevity and good genes on mine.  Not that this gloomy thought is predictive of course.  I was originally a Registered Nurse, so I have a fairly realist streak in me as well. 
 As for my little pile of health niggles! :

One was a chronic pain situation that I have had for years - it started when I was about 30 years of age.  I always hid this under a positive front and never mentioned it to anyone much.  In any case, there was not point, because up until more recent times, constant pain was considered a form of hypochondria almost.  The paradigm has shifted amongst more progressive doctors.  Luckily my husband is one of these, and after observing various issues I had over time, suggested the problem was a centralised response.  Fatigue is also one of the symptoms, as well as pain, and a very sore and irritable bowel. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was not very functional.  I now take a medication which quietens the central nervous system down and I am relatively pain free most to the time.  Fatigue remains an issue, especially if I overdo it, or am overstimulated for any length of time, but I know when to pull back.  

Then there have been other sorts of life problems, still working, still leading a full domestic support role.

I have also been depressed.  In the end, my husband and I worked out that it was a form of permanent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Only I pretty much have it all the time, due to the very low light levels in Newcastle.  I am a different person when I visit my home town of Adelaide, where the light levels are light and bright most of the year.  In Newcastle we have had a few years of exceptionally wet and gloomy weather and I have really suffered from SAD.

Light boxes are now positioned in strategic areas around the house.

I have, in addition, had a very nasty dermatitis of the fingers for the last two years.  It is finally slowly clearing, but it has been very difficult trying to sew with very sore and painful fingers, often with dressings on them.

As for my feet - I was unlucky enough to inherit congenital bunions, and this year the problems associated with them have certainly made their painful presence known.  I'm dealing with what I can (the pressure areas I am slowly dressing and sorting out) and then I will get further help.  

Combined with lack of time, and poor concentration from life stresses and depression, any sewing I did turned out to be less than successful most of the time.  I have just tried to do it here and there to keep some of my neuronal connections functioning as far as sewing is concerned!

My main sewing activity seemed to be stashing fabrics and patterns - but it keeps hope alive and I now have lots to work through :)

Anyway, I decided I have had enough of being unwell and miserable and functioning only at a basic level.  So I am taking action and trying to put activities back in my life that I want to do.  A sort of bucket list perhaps.  One day time will run out.  But for now I have all the time there is, so I better start to use it well.  

And build a life that is appropriate for my age and stage of life, all things, along with my husband, considered.

In the meantime:

I have completed a pattern test recently to kick my plans off. Do you want to see what I made??

As for plans, along with all the things I have to do:

 THE BIG NEWS IS :  I have enrolled in the BTEC Higher National Diploma in Fashion Design at the Australian Academy of Fashion Design.

AND: a professional sewing course with The Tailor Academy.   I am sure there are many things I do not know about sewing. Lots, if I am honest with myself.

Along with one or two other short courses.

I'm also reviewing my personal Style and Image.  Most of my garments are serviceable and practical basics and I have more than enough for my needs for the next few years as far as most wardrobe items are concerned.  

But I think I need to update my style.  I still behave like a Cinderella, and in some ways that's what I was in more ways than one.  But I have gone from rags to, if not quite riches, to at least a mortgage free life  with some savings and independence of my own.  While I still do all the Cinderella jobs of life (most of us do) I am also accomplished in my own right with degrees in Nursing, Arts (Hons 1) and Psychology.   I need to dress to reflect the mature and competent person I have become over the years.  It's always a shock to everyone, I think, to realise that the mature lady looking back at you from the mirror is you.  Do you find that as well?  

And, my planned memoirs have still to be written, but I have gathered more information with which to write them.  Perhaps they will be a section from Almost Riches to Rags.   It will be a story of why we migrated to Australia and "what happened next" which was a tragedy in all senses of the word.

And I will never understand  the teacher who decided it was quite appropriate to punish one very well spoken and behaved, newly arrived nine year old English girl who did not know Australian decimal currency or the names of the rivers in New South Wales.  I had to stand outside in the sun during class breaks without access to drinks and snacks as punishment.  Now I know it for what it was.   Abuse.

And there was more subtle abuse as well.  From the company who wanted my father to migrate.  He was at the time the youngest Chief Production Engineer in the emerging Aerospace world.  

It turned out to be a big mistake.

But by then it was too late....

Until next time,

Take care everyone,


Sarah Liz


  1. I am glad to hear from you and am so sorry for all the ailments you and your husband are experiencing. Prays for some respite.

  2. Dear Sarah Liz, Thank you for writing such a thoughtful, informative and honest post. I am so sorry to read you have a lot of medical problems, and also intrigued that I see myself in some of them - especially 'fatigue when doing too much/over stimulated'. Wish your doctor husband lived closer :)
    I saw your picture wearing your fabulous sewing on Instagram, and you do look wonderful. It is absolutely awesome that you are undertaking not one, but two advanced sewing courses. I do hope you have a little time left to share some of it with us, sometimes. The world has changed so much in less than three years, and I too have found depression lurking as all my regular pursuits were nullified for various lengths of time. Some things are never the same again. I could not blog for many months, and thought it might be a sign of dementia. However, like you, after a long period of illness, I am able to take some small steps which include a return to my blog. I wish you ever improving health and happiness, and to your dear husband too.


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