Taken at Greatwood camp, my younger sister Lena (short hair) was at camp,
I think I'm 11 so taken in 1965/66
None of these photo's are new to this blog, I post photo's each July on her birthday, she is a woman who I will never forget and always miss. One of the last posh photo's taken in 1999.
We grew up in a small village in Somerset, I was the 6th child of 9 children, 6 boys and 3 girls, also in our home was my mum's brother John, so a household of 12. This being the last family photo, taken in 1986, my dad passed away not long after.
My memories are through the 60's and 70's, I left home in 1973, I married at 18.
My mum was a hard worker, our home was always clean and tidy, food was always provided, some days without meat, but we never went hungry. To this day I can recall mum looking in the larder, often on a Thursday, the day before my dad got paid (payday was weekly), seeing very little and then making a meal out of it. She was a great cook as was so many of our mum's, I watched her add whatever was to hand to create tasty pies and stews. I saw her make batter to dip Spam in to make them bigger and to make a tin go further than it should.
I loved Sunday's, always a roast dinner and a proper tea at 5pm, we loved her cakes and trifles, she always made more than one cake, with so many people to feed, one would never be enough. We always looked forward to Monday left overs, she did so many things with left overs.
My dad spent his time in the garden growing the veg she required, he did nothing in the house, a typical family home in 60's. He only grew one type of flower, daisies, his thoughts were grow to eat. The front garden was mum's place, we always had beautiful flowers, I loved the peonies each spring, the plant is now in my garden. I get my love of gardening from her, she would snip cuttings and watch them grow.
I went to the village school until aged 11 and never thought about my mum's role, she made our lunch at 12 each day, after school she was home waiting for us, I walked to school with my elder brother Martin, later I walked my younger siblings to school with me.
In senior school comments made by teachers, opened my eyes to how good she was, you could see they thought we should be dirty and wild. The school was new so the teachers had no history of any of our families.
They had no spare money, we were not poor, we had a home, food warmth and love, birthdays always there was cake and a present, no parties, just a family tea. Christmas was magical, decorations put up about 10 days before the big day, the house smelt of spices and we had loads of food, mostly home made and gifts.
My mum was able to make our clothes, she knitted all our school jumpers, but she was a brilliant seamstress, I remember my starting senior school, I had a new blazer, but it belonged to my older brother who left school a couple months before. she took it apart and remade it, ensuring the buttons were on the correct side, all sewn by hand and looking the same as everyone else's. Often she would take apart clothes to remake them, everything was used.
We always looked clean and tidy, it was not worth the anger from my mum for us to go out looking scruffy, she was proud of her family. She installed pride in each of us.
She did all the decorating in the house, I can remember watching her wallpaper and paint, and of course making curtains.
I got the love of sewing from her, as a child I would watch her make loose covers for chairs and sofa's, always stitching by hand, she never used a sewing machine, she would drape the fabric, pin and cut, then stitch. I was often give the scraps to make dolls clothes, but quickly made other things for my dolls, each one had a sleeping bag. Clothes was made similar, she would use a dress too small as a template for a larger dress, skirts she would just look at me and cut out material.
I don't think I fully understood my mum until I had children of my own, I had always loved her, she did everything for us, never my best friend, but always there offering words of support or encouragement. She became a truly perfect Nan for my daughters, she had loads of time for them, they both still love and miss her, I often hear, 'I wish my child could have known her'. She passed away in 2005, Josh our oldest grandson had just been born.
Life was not perfect, but she made it as good as it could be, she was not a cuddly mum, she was always busy, but she listened, helped and supported each of us, and it felt as if she was just for you at the time.
She was so strong when my 1st marriage broke down (youngest was a tiny baby at the time) and the divorce which followed, I married young and was the 1st in the family to divorce, she did not understand it, but helped in loads of ways.
I can remember when passing my driving test (1st female in the family to do so), I took her out she was scared and excited, but soon we were making trips everywhere.
We would pick her up for a weekend visit, and she would stay 2 weeks, always over packing and never wanting to leave our happy little family. When we spoke on the phone, I loved she would have conversations with both daughters, who would wait to speak to her even when they were teenagers.
My mum was special to me, she helped create my personality, I became strong because of her, I am told my attitude is the same as hers, which pleases me. Kev my hubby, loved her, she was such fun to be around, she was very old fashioned, and yet so modern in her ways and outlooks, one of her favourite sayings was she was born to early, she would have loved to live in our times, the opportunities we have, the adventures, I never heard her say she regretted her life, she had always wanted a big family, but then she always looked forward.
I could go on forever, remembering her, she did have a temper, and when she was angry we kept out of the way, as children do, it never lasted long. She disciplined us all, even my brothers, at what ever age we were, we all always respected her word.
Can you tell me about your amazing mum.