Mem­o­ries of Ma­bel helped by speck­ledy hen

Let's Talk - - Grandparents -

Hi­lary MacDon­ald is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Age UK Nor­folk and her­self a grand­mother of eight.

“Bal­anc­ing a very busy job and a large fam­ily is not easy and with eight grand­chil­dren any spare time is eas­ily filled!

Our grand­chil­dren love com­ing to stay and we love spend­ing time with them. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween a grand­child and grand­par­ent is such a spe­cial one and hugely en­joy­able.

I have very spe­cial mem­o­ries of my grand­par­ents. Fol­low­ing the death of my grand­fa­ther, my grand­mother was a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to our house when I was young. She was in her 80s then, very ac­tive, lots of en­ergy and full of fun.

Kind­ness, laugh­ter and fre­quent fits of the gig­gles, long grey hair tied in a knot­ted bun al­ways brushed 100 times night and morn­ing with a large, green, enam­elled hair­brush; speck­ledy hens and lovely eggs; hat­pins stored in a bat­tered leather box; dresses worn over the knee, belted at the waist; pink satin boned corsets; very large feet and ex­traor­di­nar­ily thick brown stock­ings worn win­ter and sum­mer; end­less games of ta­ble tennis; late night spell­ing com­pe­ti­tions, and sto­ry­telling of­ten fea­tur­ing a speck­ledy hen or two. These are some of the things that come im­me­di­ately to mind when I think of my grand­mother.

I now have a speck­ledy hen of my own; she lays lovely eggs, has very large feet, and is called Ma­bel - af­ter my grand­mother.”

Hi­lary MacDon­ald, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Age UK Nor­folk, is a grand­mother of eight.

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