It’s 28 years since my Mum died on this day and I still want to tell her stuff that excites me or that I need her wisdom on. It doesn’t go away.
Today I want to celebrate her life by recognising some of the gifts that came from her – my love of gardening and of cooking.
She would have been delighted with us having an allotment so here are a couple of the flowers from there today.
After she retired, she used to fill in forms that asked for her profession not as ‘Retired Teacher of the Deaf’ but as Head Gardener.
She was a brilliant cook too so here is a coffee cake I have made today for the cake stall at the Redruth Butter Market stall tomorrow.
We left this little posy on next-door’s doorstep as a Wedding Anniversary gift and in memory of a dear friend.
It is International Women’s Day today and in The Guardian last week, a letter writer suggested that the sports pages on this day should be devoted to sportswomen for a change. The next day, someone suggested that the letters page should be devoted to letters by women. Well, today they did that and I had a letter published!
My birthday present from the lovely Mr S was a DNA test and the results came back today. Most of it was unsurprising – 44% England and Northern Europe with Manchester, Lancashire featuring heavily. My maternal Grandfather was of Welsh heritage so 33% Welsh wasn’t a surprise either. Neither was the 8% Irish as my paternal Grandmother had Irish in her. The biggest surprises, though tiny amounts, were the 3% Norway and the 2% Sweden. Perhaps that’s all down to historic invasions! https://www.ancestry.co.uk/dna/origins/share/ca02ee57-0a92-47bc-9dad-018617b9e10d
Coincidentally, as I was looking for something else in my family history folder, I came across the following message from my SIL who had taken notes from one of my Father’s story telling sessions, this one about his Father-in-law, our Welsh Grandfather.
“William Richards was, in addition to being the Vicar of Cockerham, the Abbot of Cockersand, which entitled him to the right to the fish from the baulk on occasion (full moon or new moon or some such.) Mum used to be sent fish at college in Ripon. Dad went with him one evening to get the fish. Whitebait, but also salmon.”
So much to unravel here! I know my cousins in Australia read this blog and wonder if they can add to/expand this story.
I have only a few photos of my Grandfather, the Vicar. Here he is with one of his Grandchildren. I think this is my older brother but it could be me or my cousin. The second photo shows what a handsome couple my Granny and Grandpa were. I was of the understanding that Granny had Spanish in her genes but, sadly, Spanish hasn’t shown up for me.
I bought three bunches of Cornish Daffodils yesterday and am going to take a photo each day as they open.
A filthy weather day so a sorting day and among the treasures unearthed was this school photograph from 1957, first year at Truro County Grammar School. We all look delighted to be there and I do remember being very happy at that school.
This from Lord Byron came my way so I thought I would share it.
On this day in 2004 my lovely Dad died after seventeen days in the hospice, very special days that I was able to spend with him. I’ve posted about him before but never about the days before I was on the scene. The following photos are some of those he sent home to my Mum.
They had been on their way to South Africa but because of U-boat activity, were re-routed to Nova Scotia. By January 1942 they had arrived in South Africa.
Makoalis, Basutoland January 1942
The last one is of Dad with one of his beloved Burmese cats, a favourite of mine.
On this day in 1939, my Mum and Dad were married.They were to have honeymooned in Paris but given that WWII broke out on September 3rd they had a weekend in Blackpool instead before my Dad went off to the army for five years.
My Mum at her wedding in 1939
My Dad retired early to write and dedicated his first novel to my Mum ( using a nom de plume as advised by the publishers as it was thought that women read more historical romantic fiction and that they like to read books written by women!) The novel is set in Cornwall in the late 1800’s and its background is the tin mining industry that was so important to the Cornish.
Dad’s first novel, published in the US and the UK by Weidenfeld and Nicholson, in paperback by Sphere
Their Golden wedding in 1989 was a great big family reunion in Cornwall as by then my older brother and his wife and two children were living in Munich, Germany, my younger brother and his wife were in Atlanta, Georgia and my sister and her growing family were in Phoenix, Arizona and I was in Yorkshire with my family. The advance for Ellen Bray paid for everyone to come to the two week long party!
It’s International Nurses’ Day so let’s hear it for Nurses all over the world who do such a remarkable job day after day in ordinary times as well as in extraordinary times.
Last night I sewed the buttons onto my last four scrub caps which will be collected by Cornwall Scrubs for distribution soon. A friend posted two caps for me the other day and yesterday I received a message of thanks from a Nurse on ICU in Doncaster whose Mum has been a very dear friend of mine for many, many years.
Yesterday I posted a photograph of my lovely Mum and one of my cousins who lives in Australia wrote a comment about how alike our Mum and her Dad were at similar ages. I think they looked alike from being very young as the following old photo, taken in about 1920, shows.
Several years ago we planted a small border with a colour scheme of purple, white and green dedicated to my Great Granny who was a Suffragette, was imprisoned in Holloway, went on hunger strike and was force fed. In the family but not in my possession, we have the Holloway brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst and given to all those incredibly brave women who fought for our right to vote. To honour her, we have our Suffragette Garden.
1. This was the garden two years ago in Spring, a bit later than now.
2. Now it is looking tired with just a few individual splashes of colour and it needs renovation. This is my main project for the moment. We want colour all year round. We have Clematis, one white and one purple for later in the year. We have Japanese Anemones and we had Tibouchina Urvilleana but it isn’t looking very well. I’m thinking of a couple of small Hebes, one white and one purple. If anyone has suggestions to help, especially plants that won’t demand too much attention, I’m all ears. The white Narcissi at the road end that were once lovely have almost all come up blind for the second year…..
Not enough colour, lots of clearing work to be done
3. There are pops of colour to be seen but fewer Crocuses than two years ago. The birds up-rooted lots of them.
4. Only one Hyacinth is showing and that one a bit thin.
Lonely Hyacinth and much weeding to be done
5. The Clematis is showing lots of growth and rather early so we hope there is no cold spell coming to knock it back, fairly unlikely here in Cornwall but by no means impossible.
Clematis growing well
6. And just to show you – The Holloway Brooch, on which we base our colour scheme.
Pop over to The Propagator’s blog to see more contributions to Six on Saturday from gardeners all over the world which are fascinating to read.
I have always loved Bristol blue glass having grown up with a beautiful piece which I have featured here before – a glass rolling pin. Find it here.
Bristol blue glass
The sky has been clear and beautiful today.
LiveWires 5 and 6 have been playing with a shape sorter made by my Grandfather for my Mother to use in her teaching of infants. Then my three siblings and I played with it, next, our four children and now it is the LiveWires 5 and 6 watched over by their big sister who are playing with the toy made by their Great, Great Grandfather. Isn’t that just wonderful?
Cornwall is very beautifully yellow at this time of year – Primroses in the hedgerows, Daffodils along the verges, Forsythia in gardens, Dandelions, Celandines and Gorse just everywhere, down every lane we travel along.
We bought the magazine Cornwall Today yesterday because there is a feature on Port Isaac where family will be staying this summer. Imagine my delight to find a short article about me and my Suffragette Great Granny! I had completely forgotten the phone call some months ago!
Article in Cornwall Today, April
Bees have arrived in our garden. They love the Rosemary flowers.