11 December 2011


two little girls 1

This little girl was born in January 1928.  She was a shy country girl with a mischievous sense of humour, the youngest of eight children.

She married a handsome sailor, had two children herself and worked in a knitwear factory where she once mended King Farouk’s underpants.  Not many people know that.  She rode pillion all over England, Scotland and Ireland on the back of a BSA motorcycle.  She loved her home in the country and enjoyed holidays in Cornwall and Scotland with her sailor.  She once went to France but didn’t reckon much to it.  She died four days before Christmas in 2002.

two little girls 2

This little girl was born on the 11th December 1951.  She was a bit of a tomboy and spent most of her spare time climbing trees, collecting tadpoles and playing cricket with her male cousins.  She seemed to spend a lot of time in a sidecar attached to her dad’s motorcycle.  She went to university, has skied down mountains, dived the ocean, sailed, windsurfed, canoed, ridden a Harley-Davidson all over Europe with her husband Nick, and once drove a steam engine.  Not many people know that.  She has a little house in France and almost as many friends there as she does at home and is really looking forward to her next visit.

She misses her mum on the day she turns sixty but she is looking forward to her family coming over for her birthday.  It’s roast lamb and tiramisu for lunch, two of her favourites.  Happy days.



    This is a fantastic post.

    I hope the day is special for you as you celebrate with your family. I'm sure you will feel the loss of your Mum more keenly on this day, but I suspect that you miss her every day, as you write about her with such pride. I write as someone who lost her Mum (and Dad) in 2002/3 as well.

    I'm also sure that your Mum would want you to cherish the treasued and special memories you have of her and your time together.

  2. Jean this is a fantastic post and really interesting. I hope that you had a great day and hope my email card arrived in time. Life begins at 60 LOL Take care Diane

  3. Happy Birthday Jean, and many, many happy returns of the day - with Nick and Lulu, at home in Derbyshire or with your friends in your holiday home in the beautiful Touraine!!! Enjoy your birthday ...
    Martine xx

  4. Happy Happy Birthday from us both Jean! Hope you have a great day with Nick, Lulu and family. Shadow and Katinka send feline greetings!

    The way you write about your mum is lovely. You're obviously proud of her and miss her dearly. Know what it's like. [lost mum in '98 and my dad in '08] I still find moments when the loss of my dad is sharp and I talk to him in my head. There is so much about our living here in France he would relish!

    You've driven a steam engine! WOW! :-)

  5. Smashing post and lovely photographs.


  6. Its 10.30pm, just got home from a dinner with friend (50 of them) when I turned on the computer to read your post. It made me feel good. Hope you had a great birthday.
    Maybe if it works you can say happy birthday to Sue for her 60th when we are in France next year.
    60 is goooooood - enjoy.

  7. Oh Jean! What a lovely posting..

    Very best wishes for your birthday.

    Sounds like a good excuse to have a second celebration when you come over to France? xx

  8. Happy 60th birthday, Jean. I wish you a good life in your sixties.

    I'm really impressed that you've driven a steam engine, but it would be hard to top your mother, mending King Farouk's underpants!

  9. Have a very happy birthday Jean. xx.

  10. Such a beautiful, heartfelt post, Jean. I'm deeply impressed with all the motor-cycling you and your mother have done, as motorbikes scare me stiff. Wishing You a very happy birthday. life after sixty is good, you know. :-)

  11. Happy happy birthday! I love your post and the photographs are wonderful. Such happy memories and such a delicious lunch!! Lamb is just about my favuorite!

  12. Happy Birthday!

    A steam engine! Wow!

  13. Hope you had a great day - we went to another damp Marchés de Noël at Ferrière-Larçon today so not missing anything weather-wise, though we have had it sooo mild over last couple of months.
    Missing anyone or anything is 'real'.

  14. 60! are you sure you got the right. I always imagined you being 40 something.

    Hope you had a great birthday, but knowing you, I am sure you did.

  15. Happy Birthday from us too! [sorry it's belated - hope you had a goodun!!]
    We didn't use the 'puter after a quick look in the morning... and now, before we have to turn it off again 'cos the 'lectrician is coming to correct some "mistakes" [not his...! Or mine!! Long story...]

    My Mum wasn't around for my 60th either... she would have been 90!
    But I must ask... where do you keep the portrait? Or is it the 'driving of the steam engine' and hurling yourself down mountains that keeps you young... probably the latter!

    Keep on enjoying life... and welcome to the troisieme age... and get that free bus pass while they still exist... it adds a who;e new aspect to travel.

  16. Correction...
    I don't know where the 'ell that L went...

  17. The best of birthdays to you!

  18. Hope you had a lovely birthday, Jean. I guess you can now swap the bike for a bus pass:)

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about you and your mum.

  19. Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes. I had a lovely day.

    Jim and Pauline - I had a stall at that Christmas market last year, inside the church. I have never been so cold for so long in my life !!

    Steve - 60 is the new 40, I am told.

    Tim and Ken - I don't get my buspass until I get my state pension, which is in nearly two years' time, much to my disgust and dismay.

  20. The lass in the corner your stall was in last year was well wrapped up.... but looked colder than you did last year, much colder.

    Posting on Lundi with a WV of "mardi"... they've got the day wrong again!

  21. This is such a beautiful, thoughtful posting. I hope you will have a very enjoyable 61st year and many opportunities to celebrate the coming of age! Best Wishes.

  22. Jean, sorry I missed the day. Happy Birthday, belatedly. I would never have guessed your age... and that's a compliment.

  23. Happy Birthday! A beautiful post honoring two beautiful little girls.