Egyptian pharaohs had aprons encrusted with jewels. Cretan fertility goddesses apparently wore aprons below bare breasts (see image below right). Masons still wear aprons – so do gardeners, cooks, barbers, shoemakers, medical workers. Down the centuries, and in all cultures, aprons have afforded protection, and they have been symbolic of work and status.
As a fine bookbinder and restorer, I used to wear an apron every day. It was made of heavy-duty cotton, stained by leather dye and glue, and it had special pockets and places for knives and bone folders, scissors, sandpaper and metal rules. Wearing it, I knew I had close to me everything I needed. I felt complete, ready for work. But I liked aprons long before that – my mother always wore one in the kitchen and when she gave me my first small apron I felt I had arrived.
In 2020 I’ve worn many aprons. I feel lucky to be able to say that I’ve seldom worked harder than I have this year, and in so many different arenas, but there have been times when I was switching aprons more often than ever before. If I’d had an apron for every kind of work, it would have been quite a collection!
So one of the aprons I left hanging on the back of the door in 2020 was the blogger’s apron. I wrote one blog post early in Lockdown One, then nothing until now. This was partly because I was busy wearing other aprons, but it was also because I didn’t know what to say. I felt there was nothing I could add. I read other people’s blogs and marvelled. I appreciated the distractions and the commentaries, the sheer variety of subject matters and styles. Thank you, bloggers – you enriched my reading in a year when reading wasn’t always easy.
I’ll return to more regular blogging in 2021. I won’t be posting often, but I may try adding a few new pockets and extra tools to my blogger’s apron.
In Part 2 of this post, I write about some of the aprons I did wear in 2020!