It wasn’t me who had to do the construction work, it was my son, who took me to Ikea to purchase some shelves for my spare room, then ended up putting them together last night after work. They look great and will help me solve my constant problem of where to keep things.
Downsizing is a difficult process , not least because you have to sort through all the rubbish you have collected over the years, throw some of it away and then find room for the stuff you decide to keep! I’ve downsized twice since my husband died; once to a house with the same number of (slightly smaller) rooms, to which I then, rashly, added a conservatory, and then, more recently, to a much smaller bungalow. I have great expectations of my Ikea unit!!
Yesterday we left my grandma struggling on her own with three children. Somewhere on the horizon was my grandfather. Grandpa John was some sort of engineer and when he was a very young man had travelled up to the north-east of England to work at one of the big engineering firms. A distant relative of mine has done a great deal of research on grandpa’s family and once gave me a very detailed family tree which I have lost. I shall try and catch up with them again at some time in the future.
Anyway the story from them is that, at 19, grandpa lied about his age in order to marry his landlady’s daughter. Quite what happened over the next few years I’m not sure but it would seem that, at some point, she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital because of her drinking and grandpa returned to Yorkshire where he met grandma. I wish I knew something about how they met but there is just a big gap until I can see them in the 1911 census. They are all living together, my father has arrived but strangely enough grandma is listed as the housekeeper. So it begs the question were they ever free to marry? According to the researchers in the family there is no trace of a marriage ever taking place!
The thought of my straight-laced Victorian grandma “living over the brush” makes me smile but I’m glad she found someone and was happy and safe. And a cousin (who was much older than me and who had personal memories of grandpa) once told me that she had always thought of him as her grandpa and that he always treated his stepchildren and stepgrandchildren as if they were his own.
So now I guess the family entered into a much happier period, my dad grew up and when he was about 17 he met my mum. He had an Irish friend called Pat and Pat’s girlfriend at the time was mum’s sister Jessie. Mum was a mature lady of 19. How strange then that, by the time they got married, he was 31 and she was 34!
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