If she’d hung around, my grandmother would have been 110 last week.
Her mother died a few days after she was born in 1902, and so she was sent to live with relos; a childless couple who were rather well-to-do. She was taught embroidery and crochet, how to cook, and how to play the piano, as “ladies” were in them days.
For a while – before I was born – she led singalongs at her local pub. At family gatherings – after I was born, she liked to warm things up as the night wore on, and I remember being sent to bed when she played the first few bars of “Oh dear, what can the matter be…”
When I went to visit her not long before she died she was sitting in a chair with a rug over her knees, and her hands were moving back and forth across her lap. “What are you playing?” I asked. She replied “You push the trolley, and I’ll make the wheels go ‘round…”