On this day, a couple of years ago, one very special person was born.
She was born into a normal family, at a time when life was hard as The Depression was still on. The village she was born into had less than 1,000 people living there, and some were her relations .... yet she went on to become ...
Yes, it's my Mum.
She has one sister who is 61/2 years older than her, but sadly were never close friends like I am with my brothers. To her mum she was a much loved baby, to her dad she was the missing "boy" ... so my mum can catch a ball better than most cricketers!!
Although they had little money she had a great extended family, and a few miles away was Wickstead's park that they would visit from time to time. That park still exists (just ask spikereader , if you don't believe me) ... But this picture was taken in 1938 ... a time of peace ... and happiness, if you judge by the photo.
My mum is incredibly brainy - having passed her High School entrance exam, first at the age of 10, then having to take it again as she didn't start till she was 11. She had a full entrance pass - her fees and travel paid for her, and once there she settled into a fun life - education and games, being great at rounders, especially ... her dad's training doing her well.
As the war started her house was "invaded" by 2 evacuees that lived with the family all through the war ... sadly mum found she had to share everything as the 2 girls came with nothing, and my grandparents didn't want to see them sad.
The stress of school, plus missing some months as her mother had diptheria meant that she had to again =change classes, and this led to her feeling of isolation ... and sadly a minor nervous breakdown.
However mum has never been one to let her health win ... my grandparents were impossibly strict about that - so, she left school and started wrking at a solititers office about 5 miles from where she lived - cycling to and from work, so she could give her parents the money she earned. She gradually worked into the office life, and started doing confidnetial work etc - much loved and respected.
In her spare time she was involved in quite a lot of Chapel groups, being secretary of the local N.Y.L.C. ... through which they invited a couple of Lndoner's to come for some special easter services, in 1950, and as you can see by the picture ... the rest is history!
This picture was taken in 1952 in my grandparents back garden. Dad was working in the London area, & although married, my Mum didn't move there for over 18 months. My grandmother hated seeing her baby leaving home - and although loved Dad, found it hard ... so rather than push Mum's nerves too much, the situation was slow, but steady, until they coud afford a deposit on their house ... and so they moved to Essex.
Mum worked in London for a couple of years, but sadly the commuting, along with being told that they probably wouldn't have children put a stress on her health ... so she left, not to become a lady-of-leaisure ... but to be a housewife. Decorating, cooking, gardeneing - as well as working within the ladies groups of a couple of chapels filled her days, as well as having singing lessons to improve her lovely alto voice ... until, in 1961, she had a baby girl to cope with!!
The whole family moved to North Wales, where Mum was kept busy re-decorating a house, and looking after her accident-prone daughter (of course!) ... then another baby, another move, and another baby followed.
All in all what I remember about being a kid was having a home - well looked after, amazing home-made food on the table clothes (mostly hoemade) that ekpt up with the edge of fashion..
I watched her learn to swim and to dive; learn classical guitar, cake decorating, and crafts. Allt he time caring for us, being there - supporting dad through university degrees, and then going to work to support me at college. She had her mother come and live with us for 3 years after granddad died and all the time was the centre of the family.
As the years have gone on, that support has always been there - she made both my sister-in-law's wedding dresses, re-decorated a further 2 houses ... and has loved and supported us all through our changing lives.
If I have a moan it is that she doesn't recognise what an amazing lady she is, and I hope that, as she sees this this will believe me when I tell her these facts.
Happy Birthday Mum!