Saturday, 17 February 2018

#52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Week 7: 'Valentine'

Week 7 Prompt:   'Valentine'

Ooh !  I thought when I saw this one.  Our family has never really done 'Valentine's Day'.
I have no-one named Valentine and no-one was born or married on that day.  What can I come up with ???

I started to think what the celebration is all about and thought well really it's a chance for people to express how they feel to the love of their life.

Then I thought I think I have a love letter between ancestors - but you guessed it - I couldn't find it :(
So stretching my mind further I thought I could tell a story about my parents meeting - the first flicker of love which lasted until they died. It is historical fiction, so it has facts in it but I have woven them into a little tapestry of their own.

“Mum how did you and Dad first meet?”

Lilian was breathless  “Lucy you’ll never guess what?  Tonight I was so late for choir practice I ran in the back door, tripped over a felt hat and hit the floor.”
Lucy interrupted:  “Oh no.”
Lilian continued: “Well, this new man was there and he’d left it on the floor. He was so apologetic and… so sweet.  He had this strong Scottish accent, a twinkle in his blue eyes and he called me ‘lassie’ as he helped me up.  My stomach dropped and I felt so shaky and strange.  Lucy, I couldn’t think what to say.”

“This is so exciting Lil.  Sounds like you were knocked off your feet in more ways than one. Now tell me more about this young Scotsman.” 

“Oh Lucy...My heart was racing and I’m sure my cheeks were red. I wasn’t brave enough to look towards the tenors, where he sat.  I felt guilty singing in church with the stained glass figures, the cross and Mrs Webb on the organ watching.  I knew I shouldn’t be thinking of anything but the words, the music and of course watching the conductor.  But my mind kept wandering as we practiced Sunday’s hymn list.
After choir, he was off home on his gig before I made it outside.  The girls were chatting about him and said he comes all the way in from Orrvale and he’s an orchardist there.“

Lilian finished up: “I doubt that he thought any more of it though as he has such a pure voice and I’m just one of the chorus. The lead sopranos will all be noticed well before me.”

William and Lilian on their wedding day

Resource: Personal Knowledge of my family:
Lilian Agnes Cottam (my mother) b 24 Aug 1913 Kew Victoria Australia d 02 Aug 1996 Tweed Heads, NSW
Lucy - girlfriend who lived with the Cottam family for awhile, maiden surname unknown.  Married Ross Thomas Martin.
William Louden Pearce (my father) b 29 May 1904 Peebles Scotland, d. 20 Apr 1982 Tweed Heads NSW

Choir at Scots Church, 134 Maude St, Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
Photo: Author's Personal properety. Marriage 23 March 1940, Shepparton, Victoria, Australia


  1. I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    thank you, Chris
    A sweet post...