Friday, September 29, 2006

Auntie Alice

More of Margaret's memories : -

Auntie Alice was not my favourite relative. She was the eldest of the great aunts, an ex schoolteacher and rather bossy. She had been clever in school, so Nana said, and in those days talented pupils merely stayed on to teach, as, most probably, the family could not afford to send her to a college. One of the schools she worked in was in Barry and there, in her middle years, she met Joe, a widower with a son. They married but had no children. The son was killed in the First World War.

On retirement they moved to Bryn Road, Brynmill, a house overlooking “the rec” and the bowling green. When Joe died she moved, with her youngest sister, Mary, to look after her, to Marlborough Road. When she was a young woman she had to have an operation on her leg and it went wrong. The surgeon, apparently, cut the wrong ligament. So she was crippled for most of her life and was probably always in pain when I knew her. She certainly walked with a stick with difficulty and sat in a straight-backed rocking chair. I still own the stick and the chair and think of her whenever I use them.

She knew I was poor at maths and was always trying to get me to do tests and exercises. I made any excuses I could think of to get out of them. I responded to her good intentions by taking a nail file, which she kept on the front window ledge, and carving my name in a leaf of her aspidistra plant. I was stupid enough to say, “It wasn’t me” afterwards.

She did the pools regularly, enjoyed reading “The Times,” invested in the stock market and was in touch with her stockbroker frequently. When she died, however, Mum was told that her portfolio was worthless (not that Mum would have known any differently) but she obviously enjoyed the mental activity. I was always in awe of her and never managed to get through. I was too flighty for her, I expect, like my Mum.


Blogger Nick said...

Don't you think I have enough to worry about without Aunt Alice as well?

Only joking, this is the motherlode. Try and persuade Auntie Margaret to keep on keeping on with the stories.

12:32 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home