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Good at Baking


March 26, 2017

My grandmother was a god-fearing woman. She came from strict Presbyterian farming folk, the kind of people who believed card playing was devil’s work.

Nana was deaf in one ear. She was a quiet woman with a big bosom who didn’t drink or dance. She was an excellent baker but not an easy person to like. She believed in church.

My mother, on the other hand, has always believed in having a good time (she worries that I don’t have enough of a good time).

Every Sunday during her childhood, she and her sister Joy would be given sixpence for the collection plate and sent to Sunday school.

‘We had to pass a sweet shop on the way,’ she said.

Surely, I asked, you didn’t spend the Sunday school sixpence.

‘Of course not,’ she said. ‘Half went in the plate. In those days you could buy a lot of lollies for thruppence.’

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