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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