You are one of a kind. A prolific lady of letters. The post office, numerous banks and anyone to do with that bloody tram were all unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of “one of your letters”. But they weren’t always letters of complaint. You used to write to me all the time whilst I was away and the whole house would look forward to each instalment. The gossip from the Avenue, updates on the tram battle, advice on where to source the latest offers and news of Grandpa’s bowling triumphs. Jumping from subject to subject with little afterthoughts and words of wisdom in the margins. You’d enclose random newspaper cuttings about bees nests in nightclubs and an assortment of items that you thought I’d like; a book mark, plastic flags and on one lucky occasion a solitary pair of pants. I’m so glad I’ve kept those letters, they make me smile.

A notorious bargain hunter, nothing made you happier than getting something for free, even if it was something nobody particularly needed. You always had a variety of coupons to hand and even managed the remarkable feat of redeeming them in shops they weren’t actually meant for, much to Grandpa’s embarrassment, but as you would say “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!” And even though your money-saving antics made us smile I think Alan would say the voucher addiction sounds very familiar. It’s safe to say your gene for thriftiness will undoubtedly live on, (although even I draw the line at scraping excess shampoo accidently squeezed out of the bottle in tin foil).

You stockpiled stuff on special offer and we’d receive them at birthdays and Christmas for years to come. Our bags of presents would always include some amusing “bits and bobs” wrapped in that shiny red paper that lasted for an eternity. “You won’t like it”, you’d say. I don’t think I’ve ever bought my own shampoo or conditioner in my life.

You always took me and Matt to the pantomime when we were young. I remember the time Matt ran up on stage when he wasn’t asked and told everyone you had false teeth. You howled with laughter. Your sense of humour was hard to pinpoint but the smallest thing could sometimes send you into hysterics.

You loved a good dance and a sing song, chatting to folk, sudoko, watching the tennis and going to the theatre. You were always busy with something; keep fit, yoga, mind alert and trips away. You couldn’t keep still for a second, up and down all the time, cleaning things away, usually before we’d even finished with them. You were never going to sit still for long.

You were a strong woman who got on with whatever life threw at you and wanted us to make the most of the opportunities you never had, (you would have made a good wren). You wouldn’t let people fob you off and were persistent about what you believed in. I know you were proud of me and I am proud of you too. Proud to have you as my mama.

Love as always x

See related post Grandpa

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