|Nan on her 80th Birthday|
My Nan passed away two weeks ago. She was 91, and had lived a long and full life. It was my Nan who taught me to knit. I think she taught my Mum too- and Mum taught me to crochet.
Nan always said that she learned to knit on two matchsticks in school. And I always had this image of all the little girls in her class, happily knitting away on matchsticks.
She lived in the centre of London for most of her life. The last dozen years, she was in a home nearer family, but far away from the city she loved. Nan was a Londoner through and through. My siblings and I have fond memories of going to stay with her and Grandad. Taking the train, riding the bus. Walking the streets of London, standing on the crack at the centre of Tower Bridge.
|The kids stood on the crack too. Well DD did.|
We took the kids to see my Nan. She looked frail and old, and yet happy to see us. My husband charmed her, he says she had stunning blue eyes. I like to think my grandad thought so too!
|Nan and Grandad, ages ago :) Sometime in the 80s I think.|
They were married almost 50 years. Nan soldier on another 26 years after he died. And never remarried.
There were things Nan did that I remember well. She would pick up pensions for local elderly people who were not able to get it themselves. I remember one old man had a budgie on his shoulder.
She would walk 'down the blue' to shop. I never did understand why she called it 'the blue', and I could never quite figure out where it was in relation to Nan's house- because walking took us a totally different route from cars or buses! There was a market there and some little shops.
I remember going with nan to help clean a building, and her taking me to a library where I got a cartoon book.
I remember 'cooking' with the copper fondue set on her glass table, and getting fingerprints over everything. I remember watering the plants in the windowsills of the flat, getting locked into the bathroom - and grandad rescuing me.
I remember sleeping on the camp-bed in their bedroom- and it folding up on me ;)
I remember running down to the playground near their house (I loved the slide) and her taking us over the road to the BIG playground.
Nan lived in London during World War II. While Grandad fought in India, Nan was raising their children. She lived there through the blitz, and I am told, would go down into the underground for shelter.
Mum tells me she met grandad when he was a baker's boy. They married when she was 17, and shortly afterwards World War II started and Grandad went off to fight.
She was part of that 'greatest generation', she and grandad both.
So today, my knitting and reading are in Memoriam. I am knitting from a 1940s pattern. I am reading about the 1940s. And I am thinking about my Nan.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
|1940's Pattern (copied to work from), Grandma's Wartime Kitchen by Joanne Lamb Hayes, and the back of the jumper- plus the sleeve, which I knitted as a gauge/tension 'square'.|