My lovely granny Dianne Strickland passed away on Friday. I wanted to share some pictures of her in happier times and share with you all what a beauty she was. I didn't grow up very close to my grandparents (on either side), not like some people do when they live in the same town or visit regularly. However I have very fond memories of the times we did spend together and I have a lot of respect and admiration for the lady she was.
My granny favourite thing in the world was to read. She read so many books and remembered all the interesting details in them that she went on lots of mastermind type quizzes on the radio. Her specialities were in literature as well as being a cryptic crossword champion.
Her favourite things were drinking tea, reading books and chatting to her best friend. As there is no social security in South Africa when my granddad lost his job and unable to find another they moved to the UK (where my grandad was from) with the last pennies they had. I find it amazing they were able to move and find work across the world when there was no Internet and at the risk of being homeless any day! Her and her best friend Paula would write to each other constantly and missed each other terribly. I always remember hearing her talk about their friendship, it's so sad they had to be separated.
I remember how astonished my granny was that in the UK you are allowed a state pension and to live in a home provided by the council. Despite not living in the most exciting of locations she was happy in her home reading her books and making endless pots of tea. When I was a child she would make the most fantastic cakes and when I stayed for dinner she would aways serve a bread roll with butter on a side plate with our dinner, something that seemed quite fancy to me at the time. My grandad passed away around ten years ago and during the last two weeks of her life she mentioned him visiting her and sitting on the end of her bed. I like to believe this was a comfort to her.
All these photos are taken in the 50's and 60's in South Africa, isn't the shot of the lion so fantastic?
my mum and auntie as teenagers - I just love this picture!
My granny on Christmas day in South Africa
I can recognise myself in pictures of my granny, and in my mum and my niece. I think it's best to think of her as the woman she was in these images, a similar age to myself now, and to live my life as happy and fulfilled as I can make it.