It's been a quiet week at The Treehouse, due to a spot of inpromptu laptop juggling. I proved to be very inept - result, a cracked screen and no blog for a week. Now happily I have a new screen and will be back on track this week. And what better way to start the week than saying Happy Birthday to my Grandma on what would have been her 109th birthday.
Ethel Jones was born in Wales and I always think of her as the Welsh Dragon. She was a red head (she never went grey, just naturally turned strawberry blonde) and had the temperment to match - she certainly wasn't one to hide her feelings. Ethel managed to fall out irrevocably with one of her sisters and had an on-off relationship with the other. She managed to get on better with her brothers, aided no doubt by the fact that they lived far away. I tend to think that we have had little contact with my grandfather's family because she had probably fallen out with them too. How did my grandfather put up with this virago - apparently he was a very easy-going, quiet man and developed the habit of spending his evenings at the pub.
Naturally she didn't like my mother - but here she had met her match. My mother was also Welsh, but rather more subtle. Before my parents' wedding my aunt told my mother that Ethel didn't think that she would be attending the wedding. My mother replied that she didn't recall inviting her! In the end Ethel attended, but I have noticed from the wedding photos that she is resplendent in black.
So, why do I want to remember this irrascible woman? I loved her, of course. I spent a lot of time with her and she was a great companion - always ready for a game, ever keen on an outing to the park. She took me to chapel, to her senior citizen club, to the hairdressers, everywhere. She let me eat sugar lumps and icing sugar on a teaspoon (note to self - Grandma became diabetic). She taught me to count in Welsh. Her size amazed me - she looked like she was trying to smuggle a sofa under her frock. She wore dreadful hats - really dreadful hats! In fact, if she was alive today I would probably take her a new hat and eat some sugar lumps with her. Happy Birthday Ethel x