This page is dedicated to my Mum – Linda. She was Italian, born in the UK but of pure Italian blood. When I was small, her and her 4 sisters and 2 cousins would sit around most days chatting away in Italian, a cacophony of incomprehensible gossip.
We were a happy family. My parents loved each other and loved all of us, and stayed together all their lives.
She worked like a slave from morning til night. Carrying hods of coal from the bunker up the steps to the stove in the scullery, stoking it, filling it and relighting it so my Dad could have hot water for his bath every day and she could do the washing up and the mountain of laundry that would accumulate. Making beds, cleaning house, shopping, tea after school, then, in the evenings, before cooking dinner for 5 she would make up 3 open fires. Then dinner for all of us. By the time she sat down to watch one of 2 channels on TV she was exhausted and nodded off for a well-earned nap. It was probably some small relief when the two bar electric fire came about and she could warm the rooms at the flick of a switch. Lethal things that scorched your leg if you got too close!
She was amazingly strong with a level of stamina that would defy an olypmic athlete!
In later years, when my Dad had achieved a measure of success with his Advertising Agency – The London Press Exchange – they would go out to various dinner/dances. A chauffeur driven car would pick them up. We were of course in bed before they left but not too late for my Mum to come in and say goodnight looking absolutely amazing in evening dress and full make up.
My head is full of happy memories at every stage of my growing up. I loved her so much and I know she loved me back as she did all of us. She spent 3 decades alone after my Dad died. She loved him so much too and we knew there would never be anyone else for her. She outlived all her sisters and only one half-sister remains (thereby hangs a tale).
Like most of us she adored Strawberries but then, they were only around when in season, so my father wrote a poem for her called Strawberry Dream.