My Dad phoned earlier to say that Nan died this afternoon after a month's illness.
As a child I loved her unconditionally, although when I was a teenager she sometimes made me angry. But most of all she made me the woman I am today; she taught me how to love and nurture people, that food is a weapon of love, that you can never have enough flowers and that you should laugh every day.
I could confide my nastiest, most ungenerous thoughts to her and know that she would always love me and be on my side. Her advice was sometimes flawed; she thought I should give University a miss as it was full of 'posh people' and I wouldn't fit in. But she also inspired me to read and to tell stories. When I stayed with her I would sleep in her bed with the slippery, shiny green eiderdown and she would tell me stories from her childhood about moonlight flits, her own much beloved Granny, her irascible mother, louche uncles and a crazy woman who roamed Ramsgate chopping the pigtails off little girls.
I did tell her I loved her, but she always said we'll have enough of that old china and offered me a biscuit..
So Tiny Woman with size 3 feet, lover of raw cabbage and banana sandwiches, who preferred animals to people (your two grand daughters aside), wearer of emerald green jumpers, scented with Coty's L'Aimant, skin-smooth with Oil of Ulay, I just want to say to you, wherever you have gone to, that there will always be a part of you somewhere deep within my soul.
Thanks for everything Nan