Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Gallery - A Celebration

I wasn't sure what to do for The Gallery this week. There have been so many celebrations in my life.

So I sat down and thought to myself "What would be an interesting celebration for My kids to read back on?"

Of course...A celebration of My Mum's Life...

Mum met my Dad at 16 in the Eastend of London...He was 18, wore a parka, had a scooter and wore a funny hat. The hat got him noticed and that's what she called him before she knew his real name...

Funny Hat.

They married four years later.

They worked hard to save a deposit to buy their first home...Mum working right up until she was about to give birth to me. They purchased their house, and old Victorian terraced house...An old wreck that was originally two flats. They completely renovated it and made it beautiful.

When I was 5 and my brother was 3 (about the time the above photo was taken)Mum decided that it would be a great idea to buy some land and build a house. This was an unusual thing to do during the 70's. Self building was very rare indeed.

It was a brave move.

We lived on site in a caravan for a year while Dad built the house. Once The house was completed we moved in. Mum had two more children and everything was perfect...

Until the divorce.

We stayed with Mum. Mum sold the house...Foolishly giving half the money to Dad. A Dad who then never ever paid a penny maintenance.

Mum bought a tiny two bedroom semi...Coming from a large four bed house with four kids it was a huge sacrifice on Mums part. When I asked her as I got older why she did that she simply replied " Well I thought it only fair, Your Dad was homeless and he needed the money to buy himself somewhere to live"

What a selfless woman.

Shame he never supported her with us kids...That is all she ever wanted in return.

Anyway lack of support never stopped Mum.

As a single parent of four children she was fighting for space, having all 3 boys sharing her bedroom was not at all practical so decided to sell our new house, keeping half the garden and building us a shiny new house on it.

She worked hard...Her fingers to the bone and with no support from Our Father often being forced to drag us four kids with her on the tubes into London. We would wait in Hamleys Toy Store while Mum worked in Wollies & Selfridges stacking Twinnings tea.

It was hard for us all.

But she got us our house built. And she was mortgage free. A huge achievement at age 30 and a single parent to four young children..

Until she made a very wrong decision and married my step father.

He was awful with money and persuaded her to remortgage the house. He was on a good managerial wage so she trusted him.

Worse thing she could have done.

He was abusive and after nine yrs divorced him. She was left with six kids and a huge mortgage. The only good thing to come from that marriage was two extra Brothers.

What could she do now?

She couldn't earn enough to cover the massive debts. So she went to Uni, studied for a psychosocial degree and got it!

She did eventually sell that house but her gutsy ideas never left her.

She bought a little house in the country but it had a right of way through the back yard. The old man next door would randomly walk past her kitchen window driving her mad and often making her jump. So when next doors house came on the market she snapped it up, renovated it, had the right of way erased from the deeds and sold it on again keeping a piece of land that came with it.

She had More self build plans in her mind for that land...A little cottage called pear tree cottage was her dream.

She never got the chance to build her little Pear Tree Cottage, although she did buy a house in Bulgaria and renovated that before she sadly passed away.

She was So Brave and worked so hard to provide for her family.

Forever I will celebrate her acheivements and be Thankful for all she did and sacraficed.

She was a remarkable Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother and I want to make sure My children keep her memory alive...Writing about her in my blog helps me to do that.


  1. wow, what a strong woman, I wish I had half her strength and willpower.
    she will live on in yours and your childrens memories, and your brothers' too.

  2. What a life to lead - such a strong lady - no wonder you are proud of her

  3. What a story! Your mum sounds like an amazing, persevering woman. No wonder you miss her so much.

  4. What a inspiring story. You mum was an amazing woman.

  5. You truely had the most awesome Mum. Your love and respect for her shines through in your words. No doubt your family knows what a special woman she was.


  6. Thankyou everyone for your lovely comments xxx



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