Th other day I had to meet with somebody, and the meeting place had to be changed at the last minute. We met in a church, where I had never been before, but it was in the village where all my ancestors on my mother’s side came from. They can be traced right back to the 1600s. The person whom I was meeting did not know this, but it gave me an amazing feeling of connection with the past. My ancestors would have gone to that church, and I found myself wondering what was going on in those days.

The one thing that I did know for sure was that my mother lived there as a baby until she was fifteen months old, when her father died of a brain tumour. My grandmother was left with a little girl to bring up, which was very hard in the early 1920s. They lived in a little cottage but had to move when my mother’s father died. Following that, my grandmother married a wealthy farmer and it was not a love match, but a business arrangement whereby she agreed to provide him with heirs to the farm. Although it was not a love match, affection grew gradually between them. This was the wonderful farm that I used to go and stay at as a child. It was my refuge and a place of security for me. I remember with great love and gratitude.

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