One warm afternoon about 45 years ago, I rested an aching back on my bed while the children were at school. I wearily took up a magazine and read; ‘if you have a spare moment’ – I had and was bored, ‘write a letter to a grandchild not yet born’. Well, I couldn’t have grandchildren yet, my firstborn was 9 – she had a long way to go! So I got up with difficulty and found a pen and paper – then I started to write.

“Dear Grandchild, you may only know me as ‘Nan’ but I had a Nan too and she lived on a hillside in Wales, etc.” So I went on – and on – and on. At that stage I wrote about three A4 tightly spaced sheets. I had no computer. It was in longhand. I never stopped from there, though I had to break off to fetch the children from school.

Later I was given a primitive computer. Today, having written 3 children’s novels, one history of music in this State, 2 books of poetry and a few oddments for magazines, I am now digging up the buried treasures, editing them and enlarging. My computing is more like ‘state of the art’. One memory may have been forgotten in the years between but the written notes bringing back to me more of the past. I surprise myself at the variety of experiences in my life. Isn’t it the same for all of us?

I started by checking the known rellies and these gave me a lot of family information. Then I went into Ancestry and checking the family tree found a few more that I didn’t know I had. That was an added bonus. The pages keep piling up – I don’t see the end of it. Now the problem is how to get it into print so that each member of the family can have a copy.

A few days ago I showed these words to my married grandson and he was overwhelmed. To think that I was contemplating his birth so long ago!

Next time I would like to say more about family trees.