Thursday 20 February 2014


Last month my mother Madeleine died after a 16 year battle with early onset Alzheimer's, she forth it to the very end. But she was more than this horrible disease, she enjoyed chatting to people, listening to music, singing, cooking, having her hair & nails done, neck massages, nice food and going to the church and praying (even when the Alzheimer's was in the late stages she enjoyed attending the weekly masses in the nursing home).
Growing up we always had people pop in and visit, my mom would whip up a cake and sandwiches/ tea quick as a flash. She worked in catering getting up at 5.30am most mornings to go to work which was hard in the winter when it was dark and cold outside. Although she was cooking during the day she still enjoyed coming home and cooking a healthy meal made from scratch. Followed by a tasty treat, cake or pie. I don't think there was a cake or tart she could not make. She would often make extra cakes, soda breads and pies to give as presents to friends.
She returned to her hometown in Ireland each year (even several years into the Alzheimer's, we would journey there by coach) and enjoyed meeting up with friends and relatives and going for long walks. She also enjoyed going to France on day trips, we would visit the hypermarkets and stock up on baking products, it was funny coming back through customs everyone had clinking bags with bottles of cheap wine and beers, instead we had bags of flour to make bread, vanilla sugar and spices and yes there was always a visit to the local church to light a candle and a prayer wherever she went :)
She was a very good knitter and would experiment with colours mixing and matching cuffs and sleeves, changing a pattern from a sleeved jumper to a sleeveless cardigan, she would say if it does not work out I can always unpick it and start again. It was the fun of making it and seeing how it would turn out. Later on she started to patchwork and would recycle blouses and shirts to make hexagons, then beautifully hand sew the pieces together to make cushion covers.