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
Dancing with my great-grandmothers, Maddalena and Charlotte when I was two. They were of such different Italian and English backgrounds yet had much in common in their day-to-day lives really. This is my only picture of the three of us. Apparently, from when I was very little I loved to dance and often got people up to join me!
Most of all, I love the joy in this old photograph and am so touched by the generosity of two women in their eighties in getting up to dance for their great-granddaughter. Wishing you much joy. xx
The first carnations are in bloom in the backyard and have a lovely scent…
I could smell their perfume on the breeze as soon as I walked outside. Decided to grow some of these to remember my great-grandmother, Charlotte who had them in her front garden. (Charlotte got a small mention in Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar when I wrote of her scones, along with Granny Maddalena’s frittata, revealing a bit of their everyday lives through what they cooked.)
Perhaps carnations are considered somewhat old-fashioned at present but I never worry about fashion when it comes to things like flowers, to me they’re all lovely and bring a little happiness…
Another piece from the chest of drawers containing linens sewn by my grandmothers… since it was last a picture of my Italian great-grandmother’s initialled linen pillow cover (or pillow sham) from 1920s Calabria, it seemed fitting this time to take out this doily with embroidery hand-stitched by my Australian grandmother, circa 1950s in Brisbane – mezza italiana/mezza australiana
I currently have it on top of a duchess, as in furniture (now there’s a term that possibly makes me sound Iike I’m about a hundred years old!)