Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Full Circle Follow Up

In Part 1, I told you a little bit about my great-grandmother Mary Jane.

This morning, we put my mama Mary Jane on the plane back to Houston.

We drove to Glasgow on Friday evening and picked mom up on Saturday afternoon.  We met her at the train station and then went to the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Art and Life.  It was an interesting place that had artifacts and information about all different religions.  I only knew of the name St. Mungo because it was the hospital in Harry Potter.  I'd assumed that the name was made up because it sounds silly.  In reality, St. Mungo (which is a nickname for "dear one") was known for having brought his teachers pet robin back to life.  He also helped bring Christianity to Glasgow.

After that, we went to dinner at Jamie's Italian.  Mmmmmm.  Very yummy!  I really hope we get one of these in Manchester.  I had a tasty Florence Fizz while we waited for our table.  For dinner I had the Prosciutto, Pear and Pecorino Salad.  And then dessert.... mmmm... a chocolate and raspberry brownie with vanilla ice cream.  Delish!

In the morning, we got up and took the long way home.  We drove 3 hours to get to Newcastle.  We had lunch at a little sandwich shop and looked around.  We walked a bit and saw the town cathedral.  Just past the cathedral we saw this sign, which made me laugh.

Amen Corner

I'd never heard the term before.  Ross was surprised that I hadn't heard of the band of the same name.  After looking around the city, I was a little worried that we'd made a mistake.  After all, making the stop had doubled the length of our trip home.  But then we plugging the address from the census form into the sat nav and ended up here:

The actual place where my great-grandmother lived as a little girl.

Me and Mom in front of the door.

We were expecting something much more bleak and a bit depressing- and honestly it probably was back in 1901.  It actually looked like a nice little neighbourhood.  There was young couple working on the house across the way that gave us a funny look.  We explained that my mom's grandmother had lived there as a girl and they smiled and went back to their renovations.  Just across the narrow street was something interesting.

A funeral home

I pointed out the sign and mom's face lit up.  She looked from one side of the street (her grandmother's house) to the other.  She remembered hearing her grandmother tell stories about the funeral home across the street from her home and how got 1 pence to follow the processions as a paid mourner.  The Co-operative Funeral Home has actually been around since 1844 so it's probably the very same business!  How cool is that!?!  Unfortunately, that's one of the few stories that Mary Jane told.  She never talked about her family- though she kept in touch with her father and siblings.  All of the questions that spring to mind are unanswered for now.  My mom was only a little girl and wouldn't have thought to ask questions about family dynamics and all the juicy stuff.  

As we got in the car to drive away, we noticed that curtains on the door to Number 8 twitching.  We had to laugh.  What must the residents have though of a couple of crazies out front taking pictures.  If they'd come out we would have told them what we were doing.  Who knows- maybe they'd have invited us inside.  Or not.  

All in all, we were only there less than 10 minutes.  
It sounds silly, but it was totally worth it to take the long way home.

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