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“I don't need  insuring. It's like the van, I'm insured in heaven." --Miss Shepherd      During the period from March of last year until just recently, writing was difficult for me.   The ideas that flowed from my brain to my fingertips were cynical and negative, probably in response to the pervasive atmosphere of anger, fear, and outrage on social media or the nightly news.   But a few months ago, I watched the film  The Lady in the Van  and subsequently read Bennett’s memoir on which the film is based, and I was inspired not only to write but also to create a pattern based on a whimsical hat which caught my eye in the film.       In The Lady in the Van, Alan Bennett recounts his relationship with Miss Shepherd, a cantankerous old woman who spent a large portion of her life living in parked vehicles.   Fifteen of those years were passed in a van in the driveway of Bennett’s London home.   In the film, Dame Maggie Smith plays Shepherd, and while it is easy to laugh at

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