Blogging has become important to me over the last year. At first it was a way of recording what I saw as an exciting phase of my life, as we settled into living in two places, Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, and Caunes Minervois in the Languedoc in France. Then it became about connecting with other people and their lives. The last few weeks have made me realise that it is this connection with other people and their lives that is really important to me.
Discovering that I have endometrial cancer means that the life we had planned for the next year or so, is on hold. We should be in France now, then we had a month trip to India planned before Christmas. Then we were intending to spend a couple of months travelling in the US before returning to France next April. So......not a lot, apart from scans, MRIs, blood tests, surgery, chemo and radiotherapy are being talked about now. As anyone who has been on “the cancer journey” knows, it takes over.
I am determined it will not take over. I intend to continue blogging.....and it will not be a cancer journey blog, although I have complete admiration for people who have decided to do this. I will refer to it.....it is there.....but it is not going to dominate my thoughts, or my life.
So....whilst waiting for final tests to stage my cancer and determine treatment..... I will continue to blog.....from Hebden Bridge for a while, as I have said, the planned autumn trip to Caunes is on hold.
Rings and things
When I went through my father’s desk, after his death, I found an old Parker pen case. It contained 2 broken rings, 2 gymnastic medals won by my father in 1943 and in 1945, and 2 enamelled badges, one saying PREFECT, and one saying “HOUSE CAPTAIN”.
The badges were important to him...he left school at 14, but was honoured to have been thought worthy of wearing those badges in his last year at school. He had told me about them. I also knew about the gymnastic medals....again, he had been very proud of them. I knew nothing of the rings.
The first was a broken, man’s signet ring. The initials on it were JG, so I supposed it had belonged to my great grandfather, Kent shoe maker Joseph Gilbert. It was rose gold, and I decided to have it melted down to make a ring that I would wear. I did this a couple of years ago, had a diamond from my grandmother’s engagement ring placed into it, and have worn it ever since.
The other ring, looked like something out of a Christmas cracker, so I ignored it, until recently when I was having another piece of jewellery repaired. I took in to “Max”...the jeweller in Hebden Bridge, where everyone takes their broken jewels for him to work his magic on them.
I asked him if it was worth doing anything with, or was it muck metal.....no, 18c gold and diamonds he said.....a Victorian setting. He then explained about how diamonds were cut differently when they needed to sparkle under gas light rather than electric light.
The ring is mended.... and although I cant be certain, I suspect it was Joseph Gilbert’s wife’s ( my great grandmother, Edith Woolley....or just possibly, her mother’s, Esther Spice). I am searching for old photos of these formidable women, to see if there is any evidence of the ring on their fingers.
|Great grandmother Edith, father Mike, grandmother Queenie & Great great grandmother Esther|
I held out a small hope that it might have been my great grandmother Florence’s ring....the one who gave birth to my bigamist grandfather. My daughter Jess gently suggested to me that possibly, had it been Florence’s ring, bigamist grandad would probably have given it to wife number 1 or wife number 2 rather than my grandmother, who was wife number 3. Oh well....I will probably never know which of the gorgeous women who came before me wore it......but now I am wearing it, and I love it.