This is a photo of my nan, Esther Elizabeth Parry, taken in the 1920s. Beautiful wasn’t she? Now I know where I get my film star good looks from! She died when I was about eleven before she was seventy. For the last few years she suffered from the aftermath of a dense stroke that left her paralysed and unable to talk properly let alone sew with her trusty 99k sewing machine.   She always seemed old to me even before she was poorly. I’m not sure if it was because I was wee when I knew her or if people aged quicker back along.

I pretty much know for certain that I was my Nan’s favourite grandchild.  The fact that she gave me a fiver for my birthday and my brother and sister only got fifty pence was a bit of a giveaway.  Of course I felt that this unequal treatment was entirely justifiable at the time. I wonder if she saw her trait of being a strong woman reflected in me.  She was a bit of a tough nut, for behind that pretty exterior and in spite of no qualifications, had a career at a time when it was not the norm.

I’m not sure that her parenting skills would be considered as up to much in today’s terms.  My Dad was left to fend for himself, in pre-Social Services days, from the age of five. This isn’t meant to be a criticism of her childrearing but a comment on how times were very different indeed!

When she died she left me the old electric Singer 99K sewing machine. She’d promised to pass onto me when I was big enough.  She bought it in the 1950s and it’s still in complete working order even though it’s over sixty years old now.  Although I have another all singing, dancing machine I’ve still kept this one. Maybe one day I’ll have a grandchild of my own to pass it onto.

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