I remember her maisonnette; orange and brown swirls on the carpet and a small, blue bureau, smelling of humbugs-too warm and sticky in their wrappers. Fish steaming in the kitchen for the cat; the ever immobile cat, stretched black and white across the table, hogging the heat from the radiator.
I remember spending the day there when I was sick, dropped off in my pyjamas as Mum went to work. Flopped on the sofa, brown and cream and bobbly, I watched Pebble Mill at One and ate Ski yoghurt, with an inch of sugar on the top.
But most of all, I remember her hands. With liver spots and spatulate fingers, nails soft and curled and splayed. Small, strong, busy hands: cooking lamb chops and tomatoes, playing Patience, organizing the dogs with her walking stick. And, of course, knitting. Even at ninety, one 12 inch square a day "for the Ethiopians".
Sadly, I have no photos of her hands but, during my forties, I've watched as my own take on their form: knuckles thickening and wrinkling, finger nails softening, the middle nail on my right hand unmistakably starting to splay.
No liver spots yet, but somehow it feels comforting that it's only a matter of time.
Today's post was inspired by Tara's Gallery. If you'd like to join in, or view the other entries, you can find out all you need over at her wonderful blog, Sticky Fingers.