Ganga & Nana - my mentor and best friend.

Ganga and Nanna on their Golden Wedding Anniversay
I'm eternally grateful to my dear late grandfather (Ganga) James (Jemmy) Roberts as I believe I have inherited his love for making things.  We share a creative gene - I've known this for almost all of my life.  I know it sounds strange, but we have always had an extra special connection that was evident whenever he taught me how to do something or showed me something he had made.  My earliest memories of him are when he began teaching me how to garden. I was about 3 years old and we sowed some antirhinum seeds.  It's a very distinct memory, followed later by the joy of seeing the plants grow and flower. I can recall the row of beautiful colour in their back garden and wondering with awe how I had helped to create this fabulous spectacle.

As I grew up my Ganga let me help when he made a dolls house and furniture.  The house was lovely and even had a garden.  The furniture was all made from found materials such as match boxes for chests of drawers; a cardboard fireplace with blackened pieces of sponge for coals.  He made everything by hand and I treasured it all.  In later years my daughter played with it for many hours and collected new furniture to replace those items that had simply worn out. Now my brother is planning to redecorate it for his two daughters. I think Ganga would be proud to know that it has recieved so much love and care.

In later years we made little houses from match sticks and lolly sticks. I have a lovely memory of Ganga meeting me off the school bus one evening, clutching a precious completed house JUST FOR ME!  I ran all the way off the bus, jumping excitedly down the steps to greet him. We also made jewellery box house with shell walls and roofs. I still have one at home (photo to come)!

One of the last things Ganga did was to complete some marquetry pictures.   He sat at the dining room table for many hours carefully cutting the wood and gluing the shapes in place to create a wonderful scene. 

Throughout all his life, my darling Ganga was a very keen green-fingered' gardener, who instilled a great love of the outdoors in me. I will forever be greatful for this.  I love and miss him very much!

My Nan (Eveline) was my second mum and I spent so much time with her in my life.  She was such a caring and supportive Nan, who would drop  everything at a minute's notice to just sit and chat and teach me how to bake. We would make bread on the kitchen table, then bake it in her blackened stove at the back of the fire. It smelt so good mmmmmmmmmm!!!!  WE would bake apple pies, meat & potato pies, custard tarts, and more!!!  After my walks with Ganga, we would make nettle and dandelion pop from the leaves we had carefully collected.  
At other times she would help me with my knitting and join Ganga in nurturing my love of plants and flowers. 
She was such a gentle, loving person, who had suffered great tragedy in her life ... losing several babies and becoming suicidal!  I don't know how she continued after suffering electric shock therapy, amongst various treatments!!!! But she was always there for me and my brothers.   I was there for her at the end of her life and it was one of the hardest days of my life ... I miss  you sooooo much dear Nana:(