|Boxing Day 2013, two weeks before she died|
Growing up during times of rationing had a big impact on Grandma and she never lost the habits of resourcefulness and minimising waste. She used to butter bread before slicing it as that way you could cut it thinner.
Widowed at a young age she was a strong and independent women and I only ever knew her living on her own. She liked her routines and they filled her time in retirement. Every day started with dusting (you've never seen anywhere so well dusted) and sheets were changed each Saturday.
The Office for National Statistics could track inflation from her diaries and accounts books. She used to add up till receipts in her head to make sure they hadn't made a mistake.
She loved a letter and my sister and I used to have an annual competition to see who could send her the most postcards. She used to keep them in a tray next to her arm chair and we'd have a count each Christmas to see who had won. It was rarely me.
The death of my aunt, Grandma's youngest daughter, thirteen years ago broke her. She withdrew from the world and barely left the house in her final years, the thought of telling people one of her daughters had died if they asked "how the girls were" was all too much.
One of the reasons I returned from Australia was so that I could spend more time with Grandma after missing out on the last couple of years with my other grandparents. It was lovely to be able to visit her, although I didn't go as often as I should have.
She lived in her own home, with increasing amounts of help from my mum, right up to the last twenty four hours. Quite amazing really.
She passed away yesterday in the University Hospital of Wales and it was a privilege to be at her side.
Grandma you will be missed.