Friday, 21 December 2012

A Bittersweet Christmas

I absolutely love the lead up to Christmas. For me its the best part of the whole thing. The carols, the mulled wine and my little girls excitement as she counts down the days until Santa's visit.
This year its a little bittersweet as my lovely nan Rhoda  passed away a few days ago. She was eighty three and wasn't in the best of health but she will be greatly missed and as others who have experienced will know there is something so very sad about arranging  a funeral whilst the world gears up for the festivities.Here is a lovely picture of her aged twenty. How glamorous does she look!

RIP Nan you will be missed

My nan was an amazing woman well ahead of her time. A talented painter she went to Art school in Birmingham and was a founder member of the Bullwell Art club which is still going strong today. 
Always political she was a socialist in the 1960's and an active member of CND, often taking my mum on "Ban the bomb" marches when she was a child.
Fiercely independent she travelled alone to Kenya in the early 1970's to teach.Bombing around on her motorbike (always her preferred mode of transport) and absorbing as much as she could about Africa which she always loved.
Her interest in other cultures remained strong and when she returned to England she taught at an Infant school in a fairly deprived part of Nottingham attended by many children who didn't speak English. She learnt to speak Urdu, Hindu,Punjabi and even a smattering of Vietnamese to ensure she could give her kids the very best education possible.
She also loved a good drink, a good laugh and listening to music (She was an accomplished piano player)
One of her favourite bands was Queen and I will never forget her telling me how handsome she thought Freddie Mercury was. She then told me in a confidential tone " I know he is gay by the way and think its quite fantastic" When he died she painted a beautiful little portrait of him and festooned it with a HIV ribbon.
She devoted herself full time to painting once she retired and held many exhibitions of her work. Here is one of her paintings.

As a staunch Atheist she had no time for any notions of an afterlife but wherever she is now, she will be greatly missed by her family. Hers was a life well lived and she wont be forgotten.

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  1. What a lovely blog. Sad but lovely. And what a wonderful woman! And I can see you in that picture :) all the best Betty, to you and your loved ones x x x

  2. So sorry to hear about your Nan. What an incredible woman she was! x

  3. She sounds like an incredible woman. Sorry for your loss xx

  4. Hi Betty, so sorry to hear your sad news. She was a hell of a woman from the sounds of it and a wonderful and inspiring role model for you and your daughter. You're keeping the Rhoda flag flying living with heart, tenacity and creativity. Sending you a big

  5. Oh Betty I'm so sorry for your sad loss. Your nan sounds like quite a woman! Reading about her made me smile.
    What a beautiful painting by such a talented woman.
    Have you anymore of her paintings? My daughter (she's 15 would love to see the Freddie one. She absolutely adores him.
    We all love queen, my dad saw them when they realeased their first album.
    I hope that remembering all the wonderful things about her helps you to deal with your grief.
    Sending love & hugs to you & your family. Thinking of you. Xxx

  6. What a beautiful post <3 She sounds like an incredible woman. Sending you all lots of love and cuddles xxx

  7. Sending much love to you and yours at this sad time. What an amazing life to have led, many older ladies haven't gone further that a day trip to the seaside lol. Its obvious that a part of her is alive and well, not only in her paintings but in you too. ((hugs))

  8. She sounds amazing and you look so like her.

  9. Awww Betty I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy but perhaps more difficult this time of year. We lost my MIL nearly 12 months ago and it's not easy.
    My thoughts are with you and your family xxx

  10. What a lovely tribute to an amazing woman. Sounds like she lived life to the full


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