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Elsie's Teapot Treasures

Length: 21 pages12 minutes


My Grandmother Elsie always reminded me of Gloria Swanson. Elsie would have made an excellent silent screen movie star because she was dramatic and glamorous. But, instead, she was a descendant from the Irish escaping the famine, from rogues and scallywags who were sent out in chains and a mysterious woman called Jane who arrived in the early1800’s to the wild, new colony of Australia, 20, alone and pregnant, explaining that the father of the child was a Sea Captain who she wouldn’t name. Some would call her a liar. I call her a survivor.

So, Elsie was descended from drama. Her brother Ben, many, many years after her death told us that Elsie used to stand on the front veranda of their farming property in Midwest New South Wales, ‘waiting for her prince to come.’ He sort of did. He was a wild Scot and she was a crazy Irish wannabe princess. It was never going to be easy.

As a child I thought Elsie was exciting and crazy. I was eight when she died. I was desolated. At 52, going through items packed away in a box that had been passed down to me, I found an old silver teapot very much in need of cleaning. In it was stuffed a myriad of hand written – pen and ink - recipes for all sorts of sweet dishes and general crazy, miscellaneous stuff about 50 year old ponies and alike. That made me smile. Elsie had a massive sweet tooth and was a massive diabetic but it didn’t stop her enjoying what sweets she could get. And that’s what’s life’s about isn’t it? Enjoying what you can when you can.

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