Saturday, December 28, 2013


When I was ten I formed a club called The Cherry Pickers. There were four of us in the club and the only thing I remember us doing at our meetings besides drinking orange squash and eating biscuits was knitting. We knitted squares for a blanket for refugees. It was World Refugee Year.

Thirty-five  years later, when the Bosnian War was playing out, I had just started to write creatively, and was trying my hand at poems. (I soon gave that up.) This is an excerpt from a poem called Knitted Blanket, that I wrote after seeing heart-wrenching footage of domestic possessions strewn across a border, and hundreds of women and children huddled on a hillside on the other side of that border:

Before this week we shared a pattern for our lives,

The texture, yarn and colours of a kind,

But war has wrenched the needles from your hands –

And stitches dropped, your world unravels and unwinds.

To see you there with every line cut off, and torn

From home and husband, warmth, support and friends,

Stranded hopeless on a brutal border,

I feel there’s paltry comfort in the threads I send.



The photo above shows 400 sweaters for Syrian refugee children knitted by a 92 year old woman from Swindon.

Here is my Christmas appeal:

If you have enjoyed reading my blog during 2013, I’d be so grateful if you would make a donation to any charity at all, but at present I am favouring charities which are working with Syrian refugees, such as


Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog and your new book this year, Sue. Thank you!

Like so many people, I had already donated to the Syria appeal, months ago.

But you are right to prompt us to think again. We can always do more - the Oxfam Christmas Appeal also says that the government will match any donation made before February. Who needs the January sales to grab a bargain?

Here's to you in 2014, Sue!

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you!
And thank you for your good wishes.
I hope you have the year that you hope for in 2014.