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        Blog

        My hands

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        My Hands.

        I’m about to watch a Zoom broadcast about  Harry Clarke and Irish stained glass makers, which does not including me….

        My grandma Grieve had my hands.
        I was amazed and proud when I noticed them on her.
        I didn’t see much of her. We lived down South and she was up North, Ashington, Northumberland.

        A tall weed of a woman with thinning hair in a roll around her head. Couldn’t pass a public toilet without visiting. Always wore her hat when out. I loved her, despite the horror of sharing a bed with her, and the use of the chamber pot.

        The toilet being out of the house, across the street and next to the coal hole.

         

        Her sons were coal miners. Sounds almost romantic now. Something to sing about.

        My father escaped. Got a scholarship, a get out of jail free pass by being clever, and probably very motivated. But, as he used to say, it covered his education but nothing else. How he survived in London in 1939, who knows. He didn’t comment.

        He studied engineering. Met and married the sister of someone he worked with in the lab, and produced my sister and I.

        So, the engineering bit is in the genes; two of my children are engineers, in fact the whole family think spacially and mechanically, but I couldn’t bare following in my father’s footsteps so I became a psychologist….isn’t it just engineering with skin on?

        And where was my mother in this progression? So much part of me that I didn’t notice until she was gone.
        She was a maker. Pottery, clothes, painting, weaving….all those were a given. For many years I  assumed that everyone could do all of these things.

        You expect thatching and stone wall building and cock fighting to go out of fashion but dressmaking….?
        No longer useful.

        After 20 years as a psychologist the genes won out and I set up the Glasshouse Stained Glass Studio and became a glass designer and maker.