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Family life: Grandmas theatrical calling card, Id Really Love to See You Tonight, Nannas scone pudding
Snapshot: Grandma in her theatrical glamour
This photograph shows my grandmothers theatrical calling card from the 1920s, when Norah Ada Beatrice Levy became the cheerfully named Molly ODay. With fashionable, flapper finger-waves in her hair and a fur collar framing her face, she was a coy soubrette. Born in Camberwell, south London, in 1908, she was the only surviving daughter of two music hall artistes.
At 18, Norah ignored the plaintive cry of many a theatrical parent not to follow a career on the stage. She had benefited from the largesse of my very successful music hall great aunt, Miss Daisy Dormer, and been privately educated. Norah succeeded academically and was an accomplished pianist and singer. She was due to study at Girton college, Cambridge C an unusual story of social mobility for a girl whose own mother had been a Portsmouth dockers daughter.
In the summer before she was due to go up, so family legend has it, she took a holiday job at Harrods. One lunchtime, flicking though her parents copy of The Stage, she saw a call for chorus girls at the Palladium. The roar of the crowd and the smell of the greasepaint was too strong C she skipped off to the audition and it was goodbye to Girton.
Her parents fears of the precarious nature of a life on the stage were well founded. They had struggled to make ends meet in an exhausting touring schedule that took them all over the UK and abroad, never quite making their way to the top of the bill. Norah dreamed big, yet after the euphoria of the Palladium she was soon to be found playing panto in Merthyr Tydfil.
By 1937 she was married to an engineer and living in West Sussex, in a house provided by Daisys estate. She had three sons, yet her marriage was unhappy, her husband so scarred by his second world war experiences that he took his own life in 1955. I often wonder how she managed in canada goose coat 1000 1950s Britain, where attitudes to both suicide and single parenthood were unforgiving.
As a child, visits to Grandma always involved a musical singalong and she would sit at her piano wrapped in a beautiful embroidered shawl, bashing out best canada goose jacket for women the old favourites: My Old Man, Daisy Bell, Im Henry VIII I Am. My sister and I would sit entranced as her nimble fingers tore across the piano. She died when I was 10 years old but the memories and the melodies linger.
Playlist: I dream of my parents singing it while apart
Id Really Love to See You Tonight, by England Dan and John Ford Coley
Its been such a long time and I really do miss your smile
When I first heard this song I was 12 years old, sailing the canals of Brittany and the south of France with my parents. My father had music with him on every trip, social occasion and new adventure, which meant that for us as a family many of these wonderful times are indelibly associated with great songs.
He came across this song when it buy canada goose jacket online cheap was released in May 1976 while working in Saudi Arabia. He met a lot of Americans out there and shared their musical tastes, swapping and buying cassettes, which he would send home to us. Against the arid backdrop of the desert, he lay listening to this song in that blistering heat linked site, thinking of my mother and how much he missed her.
He sent her a copy of the album Nights are Forever through the post, with a note telling her to listen out for this track. She, too, lay alone in her bed longing for my fathers return, but instead of Arabian nights she was in the cool, crisp evening air of British summertime.
For me, the song takes me back to those lazy summer afternoons sailing through the French countryside. I recall best place to buy a canada goose jacket in toronto negotiating the locks (we were quite accomplished by the end), the clanging halyard that you grow so used to, it is like a part of your conversation, the wonderful language and food, (grilling fresh sardines is a meal I remember with particular affection) and the excitement of docking into a new harbour in a different town each day.
Because we were all so touched by it in different ways, we decided to play this song at my fathers funeral. There were a lot of tears, but people looked buy canada goose jacket edmonton moved rather than miserable when they listened. It remains a huge part of our memories of my father, so much so that my mother authentic canada goose jacket sale had the line above engraved on his headstone.
Now I experience a mixed bag of emotions when I hear this beautiful tune. The memory I most like to dwell on, though, is imagining my parents simultaneously lying in bed on opposite sides of the world, my father in sweltering heat, my mother in bracing moonlight air, both softly singing the lyrics to the chorus as they dream of each other, and when they will be together again.
We love to eat: Nannas scone pudding