Monday, 25 March 2013

Tender Moment

A tender moment with a female ancestor. Another hard one to choose.

Staying with Nanna, Mum's mother, in her flat in Dee Why. Nanna would make me the centre of her world, which had its other side - you had to walk down to the laundry room at the bottom of the flats when the washing had to go out, which isn't so bad, but feels a long way when you are four.

She always made crumbed lamb's brains for me for breakfast because she knew I liked them. They were soft and creamy inside, just perfect (and I can hear the yuks from you all, but I was four and "lamb's brains" just meant yummy at that age).

We would go out on the balcony and feed the budgie and clean its cage, and Nanna would tell about each of the pot plants. She would tell me how to best look after the African Violets inside the flat, and show me how to strike a plant from a leaf, in a glass with a piece of foil over the top.

And as I got older, she showed me how to knit and embroider, and tried to teach me to crochet (I ended up having to sort that out myself, because I just couldn't get it). And she showed me Mum's porcelain Dutch doll and told me about it. I wish I had written that down - I can't remember what was said now.

Nanna wasn't overly demonstrative, but she made me feel loved and important just by how she went through her day when I was with her.

Eda O'Toole 1904-1984

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