My dear next door neighbour gave it to me when she discovered I crocheted, along with the pattern. She had made one for herself and Auntie Eadie’s was a spare! My next door neighbour was always doing things like that. When I first moved in, we gave her a bag of lemons from the old tree in the back. It came back a day later as lemon butter!
In our street, she raised two children, buried a husband and grew old with the other ladies in the street. When she still had her licence, she would drive them all to the local shopping centre once a week for an outing. They were always coming and going from each other’s houses.
When my kids visited as babies and I was terrified of them touching the china shepherdesses that crowded in, she would pull out vintage Matchbox cars and ancient zoo animals for them to play with. Sometimes she just let them play with her phone, a huge beige eighties item with large, square push-button numbers.
She used to knit when she was younger (these are some of her patterns) when you sat in the evening listening to the radio. In later years, she just read and read and read. Everything from Hilary Mantel (she had a passion for Tudor history) to Harry Potter to the Plum Creek Quilting books that her grand daughter would give her.
She lived a long life in the street and when she died, her daughters-in-law gave me that cup and saucer you can see in the foreground. I think of her often, especially during a fancy afternoon tea. She used put on a lovely arvo tea with a special tablecloth, pretty plates, teacups and saucers, even lump sugar.
She was a very private person, so I haven’t shared her name. She was my neighbour for over fifteen years and my friend for a good many of those years. She was a gracious, truly good person.