Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Queen Of The Village



I know that I have a tendency to " big up" village characters like Aunty Glad on Going Gently, but there is a reason for that, and that is, She really is a special lady.
Very deaf and certainly registered blind, she sat quietly in her chair by the aga as the discussions over the finer points of " what is a tart and what is a pie" became louder and louder.
Heulwen, for the most part sat with her, informing her of the finer points of the committee decisions, and it was she that took a helping role when Gladys started to make tea. The large kettle of boiling water and a 96 year old blind lady don't always mix well, but between them the teas were handed out. Cups and saucers for the ladies and mugs for the men.
Gladys as always, handed out buttered scones for all.
The meeting lasted almost two hours, and for most of that Gladys again sat in her own chair. She laughed loud and strong when the group photographs were taken and when each committee member thanked her for her hospitality when they were leaving, she trilled out a merry " Don't thank me ..thank the lord!" 
Flower Show Matriarch Irene and animal helper Pat were the last to leave, as they were doing the washing up. I was collecting my papers and schedules and Gladys flittered around us rearranging the chairs around the kitchen table.
Nearly blind and very deaf , she clapped her hands like a schoolgirl
" oooohhh I have enjoyed this evening " she cooed
That is part of her immense charm

58 comments:

  1. That is the sort of thing that keeps her going I am sure John. These village 'elders' (and most villages have one although I suspect they will die out as more and more incomers arrive) are what keeps the village together I think. Does she have family or would she be lonely without you all?

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    1. She has a family that she is close to but non live in the village ......she is fiercely independent......i sadly agree with you about village elders pat.... Things are a changing... Villages are turning into housing estates

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  2. I expect Auntie Glad might have been quite tired and relieved once you all left. She is pretty amazing for her age.

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  3. People like Auntie Glad are a different breed from the whingers we have around these days.

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    1. I second this comment .... so true.

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  4. Ah, that joy... it even reaches to the States.

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  5. You are lucky to live in a village that still has a real sense of community. Why isn't Auntie Gladys wearing a tiara?

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    1. It's a week night

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    2. "It's a week night"
      Now that had me laughing with delight.

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  6. When I was in my twenties we went to live in a village where no one died! Heavily pregnant I was kept busy while my little boy of three made friends with the neighbours. We had a communal path and he would go from house to house. Auntie Lily lived next door, in her 70's, and he would have a coffee there with a drop of brandy/whisky every morning. The house at the end had a man, his wife and her sister. All older than God. He had his own buffet there with comics and a few old toys, he went there every afternoon just to visit. Marvellous people, the end house was childless, but they had time for a little boy and came down to his level. I know what you mean about Auntie Gladys. Love Andie xxx

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    1. They grow them old here too
      Old trevor, Islwyn, stan audrey etc etc ...are all over 90

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  7. there are probably lots of 'Aunty Gladys' out there, at least one is getting the love of friends! Bless her!xxx

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  8. There's something very infectious about someone who can take the utmost pleasure from life's little highlights, you all come away feeling that suddenly the world is a better place, especially with them in it.

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  9. you "big up" auntie glad all you like, for she deserves it! such a gentle soul! wish more people were like her; the world would be a better place!

    now which person in the pix is Heulwen, Irene, and Pat?

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    1. Heulwen is the lady in purple top, irene is far left and pat is far right

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    2. thank you, luv. I guessed pat correctly.

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  10. Oh this is sweet ! You know, I get out of bed in the mornings, having been pestered until I do by 2 spoiled cats and I feed them, get my coffee and sit down here at the desk , headed straight for Going Gently. And it always starts my day off so well !
    Today brought tears to my eyes, that Aunt Glad is so well loved, that she has such a full life and how her sweetness comes through in your stories.
    Everyone should have an Aunt Glad in their lives .. I am grateful to at least get to read about her :)

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  11. Aww, I miss the bun fights and, of course, Aunty Glad!

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    1. Ygladys and irene asked about you last night hannah

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  12. She seems to be the soul of graciousness. And grace.

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  13. Your village life sounds idyllic, but of course a lot of intention goes in to making it work in such a caring and communal way. You all deserve to be bigged up. (I think I might add this new verb to my lexicon!)

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  14. I once served on a museum board whose membership included not only great philanthropists but also ordinary folk such as myself and - a blind nonagenarian chief of a local tribe of Native Americans. One of the GPs won my admiration for his gentle, filial attendance on the chief, escorting him to the restroom and ensuring his coffee and treats were at hand. The GP remarked he claimed this duty as his priviledge for sitting at the head of the table. I envy Heulwen.

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  15. What a wonderful example of successful aging Aunty G is. Also - slight derail - the lady on her left - I'm a mad knitter and is that a glorious cardigan I see in a delightful pattern that would be easy to photocopy and scan to me????
    *grin*
    XO
    WWW

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  16. This moment is so beautifully captured and also very moving to me.

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  17. Auntie Glad is a treasure. I'm so glad that you all know that and treat her as such.
    xoxox

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  18. You are so very lucky John. Your whole community is to have such a lovely person as Aunt Glad in your mix. Cherish her and these wonderful moments life hands you.

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    1. I know we have not got her for long.......but i agree.....having said this Heulwen commented that one of her relatives is 106...Gladys laughed and said " ive got a bit of time left then"

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  19. I loved it all - reminded me especially of listening to the Archers on the wireless when growing up in Devon.
    Our village is still there but much modernized. The 'elders' I knew are long gone - guess if I moved back I'd now be one of them! It will always be 'home' although I'm thousands of miles away!
    Love YOUR village and the stories you share John.
    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you mary.....your namesake is presently trying to eat my socks

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  20. What a joy to live in your little township. Aunt Glad at the top of the list of lovable characters.

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  21. Nice post, John. Ever think of having a special party for your dear lady?

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  22. Some people really do shine, don't they? I want to be like Auntie Glad when I grow up. (Although I think I should have started trying years ago.)

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  23. I thought YOU were queen of the village, but I do understand why you have to take second billing.

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  24. Sounds like, as usual, the flower show committee had a good time. Auntie Glad probably really looks forward to these gatherings. Does she have anyone that comes in and checks on her and do the 'heavy work' for her, I hope so.

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    1. No, her house is spick and span and her kitchen shines from top to bottom. She has a daughter, extended family and friends that visit regulary

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  25. Bless her. She's a delight isn't she?!

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  26. We all need an Auntie Gladys.

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    1. We all need to be LIKE gladys

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    2. Something to strive for as I get older. I certainly don't want to be a whiner.

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  27. If I ever reach the same age, I hope I'm still enjoying life as much as Glad and like her not letting my physical failings get me down.

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  28. Quite a treasure you have in that village. Tell her "Hello" from across the pond.

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  29. What a lovely Lady (capital "L")!

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  30. i wish i had an auntie glad. but i thought you were the village queen?

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  31. You made us all smile and feel good when we read this story..

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  32. No doubt whatsoever, she is a true and rare treasure!

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  33. You honor a great lady. Thanks to you I feel I have the pleasure of knowing her, too.

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  34. So did the pie/tart conundrum get sorted out? Because I know the answer....
    Gladys sounds like a lovely old lady, someone well worth knowing.

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  35. How lovely and special your Gladys is. Older people have so much wisdom and grace to learn from.

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  36. What a treasure! You made me miss my Mom and Gramma and my husbear's grandmother and great aunt, which is a good thing so don't feel sad about it. Old ladies are just so sweet. I volunteer at a Veteran's hospital on Sundays. Whenever we get a female veteran, which is rare, I make it a point to introduce myself, invite them for coffee and newspapers, tell them about the church schedule and whether there's an activity afterwards like Bingo or entertainment. I love my grumpy old vets, but old ladies are a real treat.

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  37. You just know she loves all the company...what a great lady!

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