Laura – 8 avril 2011

Laura – 8 avril 2011

Over the course of the last few weeks, I too have been remembering Grandmama.  And my most precious memories are the ones tied to holidays spent at Franval.

Coming to Normandy always felt like a big adventure. We would leave our London flat and my heart would lift as we turned off the Thiberville road – soon I would be free to roam the grounds and discover the house’s secret corners.

I have such happy memories of playing with my cousins for hours in the poulailler, going slightly too far into the pond to catch the tadpoles,  saying hello to the big white cows in the field opposite and swinging sitting down, standing up or squished next to a cousin, from the branch outside the sitting room window. All the while Grandmama would be around. Pottering.  She was busy with her hollyhocks, listening to Radio 4, a big hat shrouding her from the sun.

In the house I have great memories of discovering paintings, devouring her bookshelves, eavesdropping on her telephone conversations with the little ecouteur on the back of the telephone and most naughty of all – trying on her lipsticks in the bathroom upstairs (which she wised up to after my visits coincided with make-up she could no longer use).

To me, Grandmama is intrinsically linked to my childhood and the time I spent with my extended family. Living as we did on our British Isle meant that we were distanced from our mother’s land. Coming together as we did under her roof meant we pieced the jigsaw together and felt part of this wonderful family.

Grandmama has gone but she leaves behind my Aunts, my Uncles, my cousins and now a fourth generation who in each and everyone will carry a part of her.