Thank you to great-granny Maddalena who showed me about forbearance, cheekiness, growing vegetables and cooking minestrone and great-grandma Charlotte for her work ethic, kindness, growing gerberas and carnations and baking scones.
I’m forever grateful to have had two great-grandmothers in my childhood from two of my ancestral cultures and many older women who’ve guided me with their wisdoms and care throughout my life so far.
To all those kind, strong, gentle women out there and the men who support them – happy International Women’s Day. Zoë xx
Nanna Francesca’s birth date is today, the 12th, though her birth certificate states February 19th due to its delayed lodging as her parents fought over naming her after their mothers. Tradition prevailed. She was named for her paternal Nonna in possibly the only argument won by the usually quiet, laid-back, Domenico over my grandmother’s maternal side, the indomitable Carrozza women (short, stout and strong).
This photograph was taken on Nanna Francesca’s birthday 40 years ago at my parents’ Red Hill house. It was the era when I’d often stay over at my grandparents’ place and Nanna Francesca took me to the ‘pictures’, as she called it, and afterwards lunch at the Coles cafeteria where I mostly had hot chips in a cardboard cup then pikelets. Of course, being a kid, I took it all for granted then, but am so grateful now to look back on those times and for the time she gave me.
Buon compleanno, Nanna Francesca. xxx
Today, my Italian grandmother, Francesca, would have been 90 years old. This is one of my favourite photographs of her, taken with friends in the Botanic Gardens circa 1950s.
Although it has been some years now that Nanna Francesca has been gone, for me she lives on in memories of our cooking, shopping and going to the ‘picture theatre’ together, and every time I put one of her tablecloths on the table or there is simmering ‘pasta gravy’, made just like hers, on the stove.
Con amore, molte grazie e auguri, cara Nonna Francesca. xxx