The time had recently come to say goodbye to my grandmother, who just a few weeks ago, celebrated her 89th birthday. A long life for anyone I’d say. I felt the need to need to write something here about her as she was such an integral part of my life, and there are so many things I can remember now, things she did, that no one will ever do again or be able to replicate in the same way in my life.
Glossy white (and coloured!) meringues that came in large round baking tins. She churned them out weekly without ever flopping them, and they had a texture pastry chefs take months to perfect.
I spent most of my tweens and teens learning needlework, knitting and embroidery from her. At one stage I could backstitch, blackstitch, candlewick, embroider, knit and sew from patterns. Even tapestries were not beyond her – we have a massive one that took her 5 years to finish!Everything she created was perfect and won prizes at shows. She crocheted beautifully, something I never quite grasped.
She even had a knitting machine, and made me very cool little colour co-ordinated suits that I would refuse to get out of as a toddler. In summer time she sewed me flamboyant dresses in bright colours that got dragged through bush and farm mud and still lasted for years.
She sewed all my concert costumes, including a notable Spanish dress and bolero type of affair (in fuschia- pink satin). And I think she made my brother an ant suit.
When we visited her we spent (what felt like hours) in her vegetable and flower garden, climbing the guava and grapefruit trees, trying to pick inaccessible loquats, marveling at how the wormwood plant smelt, picking flowers to take home and put in my flower press. And she made us melkkos and milky white rusks.
I feel priveledged to have these memories, still so vivid that when I recall one, many others tag along with it. But that’s over now. And I realise how lucky I was and how important it is to create special memories of my own now.