Monday, 16 August 2010

A tribute to one in a million

My gran... what a babe
This blog doesn't have any tips or photos of Bettina this time, but it is a tribute to one in a million... my gran.
     Born Myrtle Naomi Jespersen on September 22nd 1928 In Penarth, South Wales. Nicknamed Jess because she couldn't stand the name given.. which I'm sure her parents loved her for it really. Gran came from a big family with four other sisters and a brother.
She grew up fast through the second world war in Wales then moving to Coventry, having a wide variety of careers including a teacher and a policewoman. In Coventry she met my grandad, Norman Bickley and they got married on boxing day  and led a happy marriage for over 50 years baring three children, two boys and a girl, my mother and my two uncles. Eventuallyin the 1970s they moved to Lowestoft of which they lived the rest of their lives.
Gran and grandads wedding day- her dress she made herself
My gran and one of my uncles

Gran was an inspiration to me, she never had a bad word to say and very rarely swore ,if she did she would apologise for it straight away which is nice in today's day and age where every other word in people's vocubulary is a swear word. She used to say "I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't laugh" which was a lifestyle she had, she always had a smile and could laugh at anything and very rarely got angry.
My gran and my aunt in the 50s in dresses they made no doubt

She started my love of fashion, we would sit at hers and talk about fashions of the 1950s, how her and my aunties would make their own clothes during the day then wear them out that evening, gran and her sisters were dressmakers and made most of their clothes. She also made several clothes for me, of which I still have dresses and skirts that still fit me today. She taught me to sew and I could tell how proud she was to know I was taking after her and my aunts. For this I now have her vintage patterns from first time arround, three sewing machines and an endless supply of fabric.. a vintage girls dream?! You betcha!
I used to love listening to her stories of when she was growing up,the things she would do, when my mum was young, how she also loved rock n roll when it first came out in the 1950s.
Gran continued to make clothes until she was unable to which was when she was in her seventies, she always kept herself busy through decorating the houses she lived in, my mum tells me that all the houses they lived in grandad left gran alone to decorate the whole house of which she was happy to.
A few times a year we'd have get togethers at her house where all the family would come down for dinner, the house would be full of family from all over the midlands, what laughs we would have, and how much food would we eat, of which gran would make herself.
When I was younger she took me and my brother to Penarth, the town in Wales she was born and lived, gran had always been proud to be Welsh and I am proud of my heritage because of her.

My gran and I

Gran died this year just before easter and I still miss her everyday, she is a person that will never be forgotten about. She would never let us forget her I know that. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be making the career choices that I'm making, I wouldn't have learn to sew or learnt about fashions, she was one in a million, the best gran I could ever wish for.
Loves ya gran.

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