It was with a very heavy heart last Friday, that I attended the funeral of my dear friend Belinda Boaden who sadly died a few weeks ago from complications caused by treatment for cancer.
You may have known her in person or through social media where she could be found as True Brit Knits, the label she ran with her business partner Wendy. Those of us who knew her have all reflected on what a funny, clever, wise, no-nonsense, Friday afternoon gin-loving knitter she was and she will be very much missed.
I didn’t have the balls to stand up and speak at her funeral as so many braver people did, but I wrote a few words that I’d like to share with you all about our friend:
Traces of Belinda
As I look back over the past few years of my life in knitwear there are traces of Belinda throughout; a comment on the blog, a credit in a knitting pattern I’m working on, a portfolio of notes and drawings for a book, a design in a magazine, and my renewed appreciation of Artwork sweaters.
There’s a common love of food; Abel & Cole veg boxes, burgers on Broadway Market, locally brewed beer, padron peppers, Borough Market cafe, fish and chips with the ‘right’ type of bread for making chip butties, and a regular intake of homemade salted caramels.
Obviously there were things we didn’t quite see eye-to-eye on; crochet and sock knitting to name but two!
Then the cards, emails and messages we have exchanged, particularly over the past year as Belinda was diagnosed with cancer once again, and as friends do, you rally round and hope to be in some small way supportive of your friend who is going through the shittiest of times.
The month prior to Belinda being admitted to hospital again, had taken us to see the McQueen show at the V&A where we shared our love of an interestingly well-cut suit, and fashion in all its outrageously, wonderful extravagance rounded off with tapas for lunch. A later trip to the Delaunay exhibition at the Tate with Anna Maltz, resulted in us not only being wowed by the textiles, but also by a rather fabulous sweater a fellow attendee was wearing – much discussion ensued as to how it was constructed and after us deciding it was ‘definitely a very expensive sweater’, its’ wearer was thrilled to tell us it actually cost £14.99 in the H&M sale.
Good times and happy memories.
I will miss her wonderful sense of humour, our shared love of a royal fly-past, regular updates of her beloved rabbit Imam, our constant bafflement at our respective husband and partners ability to ‘lose’ something, and her no-nonsense analysis of what is happening in the knitting world right now.
I will miss her.