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Going to see the house where my mother was born, yesterday – she wasn’t born yesterday, I mean I went to see the house yesterday, hehe – and also the house where my great grandparents lived, brought them much closer to me. My mother died 15 years ago and I still miss her. She had a hard life. Her older brother died in 1916, the same year as her beloved grandfather, whose knee she would sit on, listening to his tales of his life at sea. Then, in 1922, when she was 12, her father died and in 1928, she was left an orphan at the age of 18, with a younger brother of 14 to look after. Fortunately, her aunt took them in, but it meant moving from London to Margate, where she would not have known anybody. She can’t have stayed there long, though, for she married my father in February 1931 in Brighton. Goodness knows how she ended up there. I only have 2 photographs of my grandmother, whose name was Alice: 1 with my mother and her younger brother, Ronnie, and the other holding my mother as a baby, but have no idea what my grandfather looked like. Do my own children look like him? I shall never know.

By the way, Uncle Ronnie ended up in an asylum where he died from TB.

It’s a good job there were 9 of us to make up for all her sadness.