When I think of family I remember my Grandmothers. I always felt closer to my maternal Grandmother. She was a warm and lovely woman, always welcoming when we visited from Birmingham. I enjoyed having tea at her house - honey sandwiches and home-made cake, which we had to take into the garden so we didn't get crumbs on the carpet! My paternal Grandmother was a strict woman and I never felt totally at ease when visiting her as a young child. She ate Spanish onions like apples and loved a curry, a legacy of her time living in India when she was a child. She always seemed very old to me, having been born in the 19th Century when Queen Victoria was still alive!
I also remember my parents, who are both still missed by me and my little sister, who gave us the best childhood I could ever imagine. We weren't well off but we were always fed, clothed and looked after and there was never a doubt that we were loved. Mum was a terrible singer but went at it with great gusto until we were all crying with laughter; she always wore a pinny and always had a hanky in her pocket to cover any eventuality; she made and decorated the best birthday cakes and when we were small made matching dresses for my sister and me, which we didn't always enjoy wearing. Dad was a lovely singer and had a wide repertoire of songs, snatches of which still make me smile when I hear them; he hated having the same sandwich filling two days running; he liked a beer and had an infectious laugh when telling tall stories after a pint or two.
I also think of my sister. When we were young we didn't get on most of the time, squabbling about anything and everything. We shared a playroom and in order to avoid one another as much as possible we drew a line in crayon down the middle of the room! I bet Mum was thrilled when she saw that! By the time I went off to college we were getting on better and by the time she went to study abroad we were quite close. Now we don't see each other as often as we should or I'd like but when we get chatting on the phone time just flies. She has the nicest husband and I'm very fond of him. Sometimes he can be a bit infuriating - too much teasing - but he's a lovely chap and she deserves the happiness she has with him. Their son is a good egg too, even if he does drive them dotty at times. What do you expect, he's a bloke!
My immediate family I have spoken of here before. My husband is a constant source of support to me and I shudder to think where I'd be without him. My son is my pride and joy. He's clever, witty, thoughtful - enough embarrassment yet?
Thinking back over my life I guess that all the various members of my family have helped to make me the person I am today - some of the bits I could have done without guys! So a big round of applause to all my family, I think I turned out mostly ok...