Sunday, 11 March 2018

Nerd Church - The Women Who Made Me

Since it was International Women's Day on Thursday, and it's Mother's Day today in the UK* t'boot, I figured I'd talk just a little bit about the amazing women that came before me :)

Happy Mother's Day! image with flowers and a purple background

*I didn't mean to rhyme, but am childishly pleased that I did! Lol.

My mother is amazing. A proper Welsh mam, strong, kind, and a lot of fun. She's also kind of hippy-ish, really random, a breast cancer survivor, and awesome at cwtches.

She decided to be a stay-at-home mother because my family were actually better off financially without having to pay for childcare (she also didn't like her job - which made the decision a bit easier!)

Anyone (and there have been people,) who says that my mother is less of a feminist for deciding to raise us in the best way she could, always being there when we came home from school, and supporting us throughout, doesn't understand the meaning of feminism.

cwtch (n.) a warm, affectionate hug, cuddle or snuggle that gives a feeling of a safe place or home. Welsh
Via Giphy

My Nanny H is a lot of fun; she's also one of the kindest people I've ever met.

She randomly compares things to Father Christmas (yeah, really,) and sometimes sings 'Amen' at the end of nursery rhymes (like '12345, once I caught a fish alive.')

I utterly adore her, and she's in hospital, and really not well, at the moment. She's amazing, and I love her very much.

My Nanny Jones was smart, elegant, and strong. Raised in poverty, she was kind, funny, fierce, generous, and could do maths faster than a calculator.

In a time when it was unusual for a married woman to do so, both she and my grandfather worked to support their family.

She was also bipolar, and it often made her difficult to understand. Sometimes it made her extremely ill. We always loved her, even if we never totally 'got' her.

She loved music and musicals, and also made the most amazing cakes you'd ever tasted. She was incredibly stylish - her shoes had to match her bag, and, back in the '50s, had to match her gloves as well.

Her and my grandfather could never do anything apart - despite the fact that they bickered like school kids. She died four days after he did, about three years ago; I still miss them very much.

My Granny Evans was my great-grandmother. I was lucky enough to be able to meet her, though she died when I was a kid.

She used to tell me about going to school in the 1910s (she was my great-grandmother, remember,) and how all of their work was done on a piece of slate, which they had to wipe clean at the end of a lesson.

She was strong in a way only Valleys women can really be, and she'd been through a lot of loss in her life, including being widowed twice.

She argued with her family - who were strict Chapel, Temperance, Salvation Army, people - over her second husband, who played the saxophone and had a dance-band. She sung with him in such disgraceful places as dance-halls! (Scandalous!)

She gave cwtches that made the world seem like a magical place.

Those are some of the amazing women from my family - how about yours?

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  1. Aw this post made me smile, Cee! I’m sure your great grandmother would be so proud at the woman you have become today, especially all you stand for. My grandmother only has granddaughters, so I am so thankful for all of the women around me who lift me up!

    1. I'm glad this made you smile Em! XD And awww, that's so sweet! Thanks so much! :)

      Awesome family members are great XD

  2. OMG I love this post so much--and I now have a huge admiration for your mom despite not actually knowing her in real life. I have a close friend whose mom's a cancer survivor, too, and she's incredibly strong for keeping her family together and happy even back when she was sick.

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    1. Thank you! I love my mam - she's amazing :) We've told her she's not allowed to get ill again because we're all useless without her!

  3. What a wonderful post, Cee! I especially love your description of your great grandmother. Such a rebel! :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Thank you! :) Ha, I don't know if I'd go that far ;) My mother always says she was a 'groovy granny' in the 70s though! XD

  4. What an amazing post! Love it. And best wishes to your Nanny H in the hospital. And I love the stylish bit with Nanny Jones- it was a different world back then, everyone dressed so sharp!

    1. Thank you so much! We're hoping she'll be home soon but she's a bit up-and-down.

      My Nanny Jones was def. one stylish lady! She also never had much money, so she was really skilled at finding cheaper things that looked as good as the posh stuff! :)

  5. This is such a lovely post and I'm kicking myself for not thinking of doing something similar at the time - my nan and mum both read my blog so it would have been a nice surprise for them!

    My mum is also a breast cancer survivor, although (luckily) it was caught relatively early and treated super quickly and she's been in remission for a few months now, despite only being diagnosed in July or August last year! And she worked pretty much all the way through it! Don't know how she does all the things she does haha

    And I'm sorry to hear Nanny H is in the hospital, I hope she gets better and can come home!

    1. Glad to hear your mum's doing well - all the best to her! Hugs for you too - it isn't easy dealing with someone you love being ill. *hugs*

      My mother's cancer was caught early... but unfortunately it was relatively aggressive, so she had to have two operations, chemotherapy, and then radiotherapy. She then had to go on Tamoxifen, which caused weird side-effects and made her *so* ill, until they took her off that and found something she reacted better to.

      I hope so too... she's up and down at the moment, and they seem to be talking about a few weeks rather than a few days.

  6. oh what a lovely post! The women in your life sound totally amazing!

    Your mom sounds very much like my badass hippy mom [though mine worked full time and lost her battle against cancer] I love that your mom decided to be a stay-at-home mom! I wished I could have done that too!

    She sounds totally fantastic and AND I'LL DEAL WITH WHOEVER SAYS OTHERWISE! [demon emoji]

    and.. GO Scandalous GRANDMA! Funny my gypsy grand-grandma was very scandalous too :)

    I adored my women too! Cowgirls, Brujas [spanish witches], Gypsies, rebels, part of the resistance and smugglers during the Spanish civil war, immigrants, hard-working, self-made, divorcees, singles moms, warriors, total badass feminists role models, and the inspirations of all female characters in my WIPs :)

    I hope Nanny H gets better soon!

    1. They are :)

      So sorry to hear that about your mum *hugs.*

      My mam is hippy, but she was also raised working-class, so it's kinda a weird mix of airy-fairy and down-to-earth! :) I wouldn't call her a bada**... we did used to refer to her 'poodle mode' though - y'know, it looks fluffy, but it's actually both pi**ed off and kinda snappy! Lol.

      Haha, she gives great death-glares, but feel free to deal with jerks who think a woman can't *choose* to raise her family instead of working if she wants to!

      Lol, my Granny Evans was amazing (and v short, like my mam and me! Her father was a jockey.) Her family told her her voice should only be for God, and she told them God would want her to have fun sometimes ;)

      YES!!!! All the awesome women!!!! XD

      I do too - thanks so much <3

  7. Anyone who says that clearly doesn't understand feminism since the point is that women get to make their own choices, period. Your mom sounds amazing!

    Your Nanny H sounds adorable, and I think I love her already. I'm so sorry to hear she isn't doing well :-/ *hugs* <3

    Nanny Jones does sound like she was fierce!

    Granny Evans sounds like she had a lot of strength.

    All of these women in your life really do sound amazing!

    1. Thank you soooo much! :)

      My mam is totally amazing :)

      My Nanny H is starting to do a little better, thanks. Hopefully she'll carry on that way!

      My Nanny Jones would probably have laughed if you'd called her fierce and told you she was 'a big pussy cat, really' - she'd've totally loved being called that though! XD

      Granny Evans was an exceptionally strong woman. For a while, after my great-grandfather died, and before she married her second husband, she was a single-mother to my grandfather; she could claim money off the state in the 30s, but only if she wasn't working. She couldn't afford to live on either the state money, or the money from work, alone, so she would sneak out the back door to go to work as a servant, so that people didn't know she was working and she wouldn't lose the state money.

      She used to hate being called by her first name - Sarah - because they called her that in service. She preferred her middle name, Winnie. :)

  8. Such a sweet and heartfelt post! You are lucky to have known so many inspirational women. Thanks for sharing your memories, they made me smile and think about my own amazing grandmothers.

    1. Thank you very much! XD I'm glad that you're grandmothers were amazing too :)

  9. I am glad you have such amazing strong women in your life and family who have been able to make you into the wonderful person that you are <3 I would say that my main inspiration would be my mother. I think 'superwoman' is an underappreciation of all she does, and she is incredibly selfless. She also has always been supportive of whatever I want to do - I hope to be more like her all the time.

    1. Your mother sounds awesome! :) And thank you, I'm very lucky :) <3


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