But that would be a thesis not a blog post and toady is a special family day. The day in the year when my brother and I with our spouses spend the day together, eating a good lunch, wandering some London gallery and end the day at the Theatre. We meet at many other occasions, with some or all of the seven children, their partners and four grandchildren but this special day is for the four of us, all our birthday and Christmas presents rolled into one.
This year, the first meeting after our father's death I thought of our mother, who died more than four years ago, and her knitting. She was not an artistic knitter, nor like many of us today did she seek out special designer patterns or indie dyed yarn, her craft was simply practical. She knitted warm, easy care hats, gloves and sweaters to keep us warm. And she knitted all the time, by the fireside, visiting friends for afternoon tea, in the car (she once eccentrically said the problem with driving herself was you could not knit at the same time) and even on the beach
If I had it, the photograph I would post today is a family group on the beach in about 1960. We were holidaying a small hotel in Poole in Dorset where we met and became friends with a couple of other guests, a lady and her daughter. We were all on the beach, my brother, the girl and I making sandcastles with Dad and mum and the lady sitting close by on deck chairs, mum was knitting. Along came the beach photographer snapping away. He pointed his camera at our group and said the fatal words...
"Perfect, perfect! No, KEEP KNITTING GRANNY'
My mother was outraged, her hair, like mine had gone white in her 30s but otherwise she never looked her age, in her sixties she looked ten years younger. But the phrased entered the family lexicon. Whenever she looked in the mirror and felt she looked tired or her hair was a mess (rarely) mum would exclaim "oh! Keep knitting granny!
I wish I had that photograph still.