When my mother was seven years old her grandmother, with whom she lived, passed away. Mum went to live with her Aunty Rose and Uncle Fred in Darenth, a village in Kent, about twenty five Kilometres from London.(See ‘Ice creams’ page thirty eight). Aunty Rose had two sons Jack and Ron. For many years these names were synonymous with the stories my mother told us of times past. That is, until the late 1980’s when Jack came to Australia to visit his daughter Elizabeth now living on the NSW coast between Sydney and Newcastle. All of a sudden these names walked out of her stories and into our lives. What a joy it was to meet real live ‘flesh and blood’ family. Now, here in 2013 as we approach Christmas I recall our amazing visit to London this past September. Our party of eight travelled out to Basildon in Essex to meet Jacks family with whom we had had a fair bit of contact in recent years, thanks to modern technology. When we met for lunch at a local pub it was as if we had always known each other. I like to think my Mum, who passed away in 2006, would have been so thrilled that we had made the effort to keep in touch. Though I might add it was no effort at all, our lives have been all the more enriched because of our contact.
These are my cousins. Left, Gill, Michael and Sam. (Mike is Jacks son, Aunty Rose’s grandson and Sam is her great Grandson) Then Steve and Jane (Jane is Jacks daughter)
Cousins together L Caitlin, Fiona, Yvette, Mike, Me, Sam, Jane, Brianna, Shannen (Fiona and Yvette are my daughters, the other girls are my granddaughters)