My grandfather, an architect, built his home at the turn of the century. My mother, her sister and I were born in the same bedroom. We lived in Bexley and walked through the dell to Dartford Heath to 'Brackenhurst'. It was very big, 5 bedrooms, bathroom upstairs. I moved there when I was 12, but before that always visited. I remember my grandmother used to make stew in shallow bowls with flowers round the edge, with Ryvita and butter in the kitchen that was at the back of the house, with a long table. There was a huge hall and in the middle of the room was a table. We piled the Christmas presents on it and had to walk around 3 times before being able to get a present. We also had to wait for my aunt to come down at 9 am! All the girls used to congregate in the bathroom upstairs, with a geyser spluttering to life. At the back of the house there was a music room with a grand piano and a Victorian oak fireplace - it was always cold only used for music lessons - I imagined ghosts in there as it was so cold, a cold draught. (Shiver)
I particularly remember my blind grandfather and my grandmother playing, and my dear Aunt Jane who used to sing Victorian comedy songs. When I got older and I was at Ballet School, my aunt’s would chorus, ‘Oh Berenice do do the Dying Swan!’ and I did it as a comedy. They all clapped and asked for it every year.