My mother and her sister were twins. Fraternal not identical. Two eggs producing two sisters who were so very different. One blonde – one dark. One out going, talkative, loving life to the full, an extrovert – the other quiet and retiring very much the introvert. One definitely liking the drink – the other very much the teetotaller.
Children of the 1920s when money was a bit hard to come by. I love these photos of the two of them in their homemade shifts, with my grandma standing to one side, smiling at them getting to know the parrot in the big cage. Mum (the dizzy blonde with the curly hair and her drawers hanging down) is trying to open the cage, Aunty Madge (the dark haired quiet one) is obviously not that interested.
That’s the way they were all their lives. Aunty Madge (below L) quietly and politely waiting her turn. Alice (my mum) ‘quick’ impatient, impulsive, outspoken, always wanting to lead, never wanting to be left behind. Sometimes known to bite her tongue when she saw things she didn’t like but decided that wasn’t the time to let people know. Not quite sure what it was the photographer was doing she didn’t like but her tongue was obviously being bitten lol
They grew up ‘motherless’……my grandma died when they were just 7 so an aunt helped raise them as well as their two brothers. All mum ever said was ‘it was was fun when her father was around, not so the aunt’.
So come the time of WW2 what does a very high spirited young woman do when advised by her father (a career soldier mentioned in dispatches for bravery during WW1) that women do not go to war but take the overnight boat from Belfast to Heysham and enlist in the WAAFs. Yes she ran away from home to join the Air Force.
Aunty Madge bided her time and was ‘allowed’ to work in a munitions factory where she found a husband and lost the tip of a finger. Mum spent her time dodging bombs on an airforce camp, packing parachutes and dancing. She ‘reacquainted’ herself with Dad (who she had known in Belfast) and the rest is history.
During this time of lockdowns and restrictions I’ve been trying to do something different for a change – I gave up on ‘teach yourself crochet’ because I just couldn’t get a grip on manipulating the wool in my left hand – so dug out some cross stitch that’s been on the go for a fair while.
A little something for The Golfer, ( a sampler of historic buildings in Colchester which is where he was born and bred) supposed to have been a surprise birthday gift a couple of years ago it never got finished in time and has been
loitering waiting patiently for me to rediscover it. Yes I know I should have rolled it……..I’ll have to wash it so hopefully the crease will come out when it’s ironed/blocked before framing.
I know my love of song and family was passed down from my father, the thrill of dance came from both parents, my delight in knitting was given to me by my mother who ‘was a whizz with the needles’ but I’ve often struggled wondering where did my interest in needlework come from.
I certainly didn’t inherit the sewing machine gene – that delight was passed on to my next sister and I don’t ever recall mum with an embroidery needle in her hand.
But see this lovely embroidery hoop and floor stand – it was given to me years and years ago – by Aunty Madge! Unbeknown to me my quiet patient retiring aunt shared the same interest and thought I might like it. It’s great for large pieces, I can adjust the height and angle of the hoop or remove the hoop and use it on my lap. Perhaps as she had no children of her own she had silently (Invisibly) gifted me with her passion for threads of all sorts.
Linking to Monday Musings
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