A long time ago when I was young and before I became ill; I used to dance.
I adored swing dancing. We'd get all dolled up in our 1940s dresses and head straight to the dance floor. It didn't matter if you were on your own, you could always make friends quickly. During a really difficult period of my life dancing helped me stay strong. In ways it was empowering, giving me control over my life.
That was before the Fibro of course. When I moved to England I couldn't find anywhere to dance in the north. There were clubs in London obviously, but that wasn't viable. Plus once the pain kicked in dancing wasn't so easy, and I put on so much weight with the medication they gave me. All my old vintage dresses grew too small, and after a few years I eventually returned them to a charity shop for some other lucky person to find. It was heart breaking to loose everything so completely, but what could I do.
Sliding a few years forward, a friend wore a gorgeous 50s Circle Dress by Vivien of Holloway to our wedding. I was instantly enamoured; in retrospect I wish I'd bought one of these as my wedding dress. Made from new material to vintage patterns, these dresses offer all the glamour without the fragility of vintage clothing. (I also had a chance of finding one to fit my new curvy figure.) But at £70 - £80 I couldn't justify the costs, I mean where was I going to wear it?
A year later Mr Goldfish's good friend was getting married and I was desperate for a dress. For once good fortune was mine, and I managed to find the dress pictured in the spring sales - just £35. I loved it. I finally felt like a real person again; it gave me confidence. This was my perfect dress!
Ironically, I can't wear this gorgeous dress any more. When we realised we were being referred for IVF I made a huge effort to lose weight. I've lost 2 stone over the last 8 months, which means the dress is huge on me, but I still love it. I'm always tempted to go and buy another in my new smaller size.
I have friends who think I'm mad for being so passionate about a dress, but I think this dress was a first step in claiming something back something of myself.