An afternoon with Grandma

On the afternoon of the 21st May, 2011, I had a good old chinwag with a truly remarkable woman – Eileen Cunningham, my grandmother.

Grandma Cunningham has seen a hell of a lot in her ninety years – wars, depressions, love and loss. She danced at Prescott’s Hall and went hiking with her girlfriends when it was considered un-ladylike to do so. She’s gone from a childhood where blocks of ice were delivered from door to door by horse and cart, to an era of refrigerators and microwaves, digital television and the internet.

I’ve been privileged to hear these stories and more throughout my lifetime. And now that I’m an aspiring historian, I thought it about time I made the effort to record them for posterity. So, on the afternoon of the 21st May, I sat with my Grandma for several hours as we discussed her life. What emerged was a very personal story – her story, one which she alone could tell.                              

I’m now in the process of transforming Grandma’s story into a book – however, I don’t think she’d mind if I shared a few of her tales with the world! In that vein, here are just a few of the many tales which form a part of her story.

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An ode to my beautiful wife

filled with dusty tomes and forgotten archives,
the memories of lives long since lived;
paradise for the historian.

spent with family and friends,
a welcome respite from long days of ponderous thought
as the cogs turn,
churning out ideas, themes, patterns.

Swept up in it all;
sometimes I forget to tell her just how much I miss her.

Continue reading “An ode to my beautiful wife”