Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rosaceae Prunus Cerasus ( The Cherry family)

(clicking on the photos opens them up in a larger window - I'm only telling yout his because I'm not on any of them)

Yesterday I got together with 40 of my closest family members. The other 60 or so couldn't make it. It was wonderful to see everybody and catch up with their lives, albeit briefly. We ate well, drank remarkably fine for such a staunch Methodist clan( not me, I was chauffering), listened to reminiscences which involved rather more shared baths than one would have expected and displayed our particularly dominant and competitive natures, at least those of us that were female did, with a parlour game or two.

I saw pictures that I had never seen before, including one of my Grandma surrounded by her children about 10 years before my father, the youngest of 7, was born. She had dark hair and wasn't wearing glasses. I almost didn't recognise her. She was a District Nurse and Midwife and was one of the first women to drive round here, let alone have a job whilst bringing up her large, boisterous family which now boasts 96 direct descendants.

There was even a picture of the house I grew up in, where dad still lives when it was the village shop. The tin adverts were all pulled down by my grandad the day he took over the family store. He wasn't going to give free advertising to anybody. It was a shop when I was little and I remember helping myself to Mars Bars when I thought no-one was looking. It's empty now and has been used for storage since it closed in 1977 but it still looks the same.

After a few noisy hours, packed full of hugging, kissing and a few tears on my part at least, we said our goodbyes and headed off to our seperate and divers lives in Giggleswick, Leicestershire, Watford, Bristol, Stafford, Norfolk, Basingstoke, Manchester and more locally in Lincolnshire. The London, Oxford and Blackburn contingents hadn't made it this time.

I love my family. They are the warmest, funniest, most compassionate, down-to-earth brilliant individuals and the only thing that's wrong with them is that they all live so far apart and lead very busy lives so I don't get to see nearly half as much of them as I'd like.


Blogger andrea said...

Lovely, touching, full of generosity.

9:00 pm  
Blogger Seany said...

Sounds like a great time. Most of our family live in Cornwall and we've often commented that it's such a shame that it usually takes a funeral to get everyone together.

9:17 pm  
Blogger Within Without said...

EXCELLENT, Cherry! This is priceless stuff, thanks for letting us in on it!

So is your dad still in the old village store you used to steal Mars Bars (yum!) from?

You say it's empty now and is used for storage.

This makes me want to hug and kiss all my brothers and sisters and loved ones too.

(Geez, now I feel bad you visited my blog, hope that post didn't dampen the beauty of this).

That last paragraph ("I love my family") makes my heart melt.

9:52 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Sean - it's sad that funerals tend to be the occasions that bring us together more often than anything else but it's really wonderful just to get together for the sheer joy of just being part of a family. And also helps to salve the guilt of laughing such a lot.

WW - my punctuation could have been better, I admit, thus avoiding the apparent ambiguity. Dad lives in the righthand part of the property. The shop on the left is full of clutter and a complete kitchen still in its boxes, but that's another story. The rooms above it house an entire Sindy collection and about 50 years of accumulated junk.

11:25 pm  
Blogger Stegbeetle said...

Glad to hear a good time was had.
Family gatherings can be funny things with many opportunities for strife. Well done to your lot for (apparently) avoiding such pitfalls.

8:03 am  
Blogger cream said...

The loveliest times in life are always those spent with family and friends.
Great Cherry family tree, babe!

10:30 am  
Blogger tom909 said...

Family do's. We have them too. I can take it for a while but then I need some space so that I can swear and make cynical comments without fear of being cut out of the will. I can only be polite for so long you know! It's a genetic fault I think, as the rest of them seem to be able to keep it going forever.

10:54 am  
Blogger Evan said...

I remember asking my great aunt Flo in Liverpool when was the last time she visited another city. She said it was for my parents wedding in London- I was 28 years old when I asked!!!!!

12:08 pm  
Blogger Carmenzta said...


Lovely post and I think your grandmother is beautiful! Do you realize how lucky you are to have such a lovely family? Enjoy it always.

10:05 pm  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

I'd pit them against anyone ;^D>

Looks like a typical family reunion in my neck of the woods, and that's a perfectly fine thing.

10:18 pm  

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