A mixed week

Some of the flowers Some of the flowers Mum with two of the staff from Ascot Johnny Jean-Jacques in a tie for the first time Looks like chicken to Anton Mother with desert - what a surprise Simon and Debbie
Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture Ally straight from work Braving the day I was there as well Do you get victory sized sausages The old photo albums Never been so tall Don't try this at home

Up and down; like Tower Bridge

22 July 2005

We have had a mixed week with my birthday on the Wednesday and the funeral of my gran on the Friday.

In the midst of all this I managed to do something to my right knee which left me at times quite unable to walk. This is being typed whilst I lie in bed strapped from waist to shin to stop me moving the knee even slightly. The velcro webbing plays havoc with hair !

Rose drawing

Gran in a drawing mood

My gran: Rose would have been 91 in a few weeks time, having been born just after the declaration of war in 1914. A child during the first war, she would be looking after her own down the underground shelters during the second.

It is bizarre when we visit the buzz bomb launch sites near our house here in France to think that they were being fired at my future family.

Rose was always the one with her pets and had an interest in all things fauna. As I have been quoted as saying in the past: if somebody had tied a flatulant elephant with a bad case of halitosis to her front gate she would have taken it in.

Somehow the animals in her life always seemed to be eating as well if not better than she did.

When Anton and I were little she used to run the bagwash laundry in Dorset Road near the Oval cricket ground and the pair of us used to climb over the mountains of bags whenever we visited.

If we were lucky we would get one of the Lyon's jam and cream cakes - For immediate use. Rice puddings were a speciality, but I have never liked the things since being forced to eat them at school.

My grandfather Tom died thirty odd years ago, and my gran was left to look after her own mother who also lived into her nineties.

These last years she had become confused and moved out from her small house in London to a a Residents Home near my parents. From there she had a tendency to go walkabout, sometimes, reaching as far as London.

Bus drivers would become suspicious when she told them that she was on her way home to make sure her mum was okay.

Eventually she was placed in the Ascot Nursing home where she spent her last years. Always in a jolly mood she never complained of being ill, and would probably have passed off the screaming pain that I have had in my leg as a slight upset. Rose always worked in her life and the belief that she worked continued into retirement when she would berate the nursing staff for not paying her for all the cleaning that she did.

She left us in the company of her carers and soft toys, at peace with the world.

The service was a small family affair and was conducted with great delicacy and dignity by the Reverend Sue Smith. And so Rose left us to rejoin Tom, no doubt still burning holes in somebody's furniture with his cigars, and to make sure that he at last started to get good meals.

Our small family group returned back to my parents where we sat in the sunshine and reminisced over old photos.

The day of her cremation the police were back in Dorset Road arresting suspects for the London bombings. It was probably Rose fingering them out - not for anything as trivial as explosives but something more serious such as being mean to a kitten.

Rose with Twinkle the bear

Rose with Twinkle the Bear

Rose Louise Bathmaker
19th August 1914 - 11th July 2005


See also

Simon's Birthday: July 2005

Weekend in England: July 2005

Jean-Jacques; antelope chaser

Johnny's Birthday: July 2005

Alistair: June 2005

Australian Bomber crew remembered