It being Mother’s Day, I have been thinking of mine, her great and passionate knowledge of every aspect of nature – every bird and wild flower – which she had learned from her father and, at the same time, of my nearly complete failure to learn this imparted knowledge from her while she was still alive, in spite of accompanying her on her daily walks in the fields and countryside, most especially in the west coast of Ireland, on Three Castle’s Head.
I should maybe add, whilst opportunity arises, that this obituary I wrote is a bit inaccurate, based on my memory of what I thought I knew of her. She wasn’t there to check the facts. I think she went to Girton when she was in her early twenties and the idea that she read Arabic was a fiction. She thought of changing to Chinese. But even now my knowledge of this part of her life is a bit hazy. It was only much later in her life that I discovered that she was one of the generation who wasn’t allowed to take a degree.
I guess that, like all children, I wish I had asked more questions about her life while she was still alive, not least about her time in Germany in the early 1930s.