This week , in 1949, Ellen Jane Sefton, nee Stewart, was wondering if she would get her Christmas dinner in peace.
The problem was me. I just wouldn’t appear.
When I did , on 20th December, I arrived feet first.
Thus began my life of non-conformity.
Ellen was the youngest of four children, born on 11th March 1924.
Her father doted on her and a photograph shows the two of them beside his motor car.
He died when Ellen was seven.
My mother never expressed any self pity for the loss of her father.
Blessed with a joy de vivre and a wicked sense of humour, God gave her every blessing. She was tall, with beautiful features and translucent skin. For some years she modelled clothes for fashion houses, complaining that in the summer she wore fur coats and in the winter , summer frocks.
She was an aspirational parent and both my sister and I attended grammar school.
In later life she was devoted to her mother and looked after her, to her death at 92.
She loved to shop, to travel and to converse.
Ahead of her time , she had the healthiest of diets. I remember boiled water in the mornings, PLJ, and no food after six PM. I did not escape and I remember being required to take garlic capsules and various remedies for constipation [whether I was suffering from that condition or not].
Taking a lap of the garden on May Day and sprinkling the face with the dew was a sure fire beauty potion.
I last saw my mother the weekend before she was murdered. She and my father had just returned from holiday. She spoke , amusingly , of the groups of ‘merry widows’ they had met. I last spoke to her when she rang me on the Sunday morning. She was , as usual, full of beans.
I think about her every day.
I shall not see her like again.