My surname changes from Baker to Thorne which evokes many happy memories and is just in time for the new year …

A new year is about to start, my book will soon be published, the venture into re-vamped furniture has a fresh energy all of it’s own and more importantly I am getting a real sense of who I am.

I have decided to leave behind my old married name as that chapter is now closed and so much has changed that when I look I hardly recognise myself back then. Emily is completely at ease with my decision and applauds my choice as I am taking my beloved Great Grandmother’s name.

Granny Thorne played an important part in my early childhood and we were very fortunate to have her around till I turned nineteen. Our family went out to Africa when I was twelve so I did not see her many times after that, but I have great memories of my earlier childhood and her home. If I close my eyes I can still smell her coal shed as we used to take chalk and play hopscotch on the paving stones outside. We could sit on the apple tree outside her bedroom window and play for hours in the back part of her garden where she grew vegetables and cane fruit. We made toffee and butterscotch in enamel dishes in her kitchen and I can still see the sugared almonds in the lace dish by her bedside. She used to make recipes from words taken from her bible and I have a bible she gave me on my christening day with her writing inside. Hours were spent makiing jam with Granny and my Mum, storing apples for the winter, crocheting, knitting, sewing and her embroidery skills were superb. We used to sit in the front room all the Grannies, my Mum, my sister and I as they passed their skills onto us. I know that when I pick up a needle now or sit before my Mum’s sewing machine Granny is right beside me helping me out when I get into a muddle.

When I was about eight Granny came to live with us for a while as she needed to recover from an illness and much to her chagrin she needed help. None of us wanted her to leave when she fully recovered as it was so good to have her there. My younger brother, a small toddler at the time, was refusing to eat and he used to tuck up with Granny and eat with her from her plate. She had a way with little ones and we all adored her. Each afternoon my sister and I used to return from school and Granny would say the fairies had been in the garden and left presents for us. We used to dash out and find the gifts (under the hydreanga bush was a favourite place) usually something like a packet of plastacine, a doll’s hair brush, a doll’s tea cup and saucer, a special little something that used to keep my sister and I playing happily till teatime. I catch the smell of blackcurrants cooking and I am right back by the Raeburn watching my Mum and Granny make up pots of blackcurrant jam. So many happy memories and thanks to my Great Granny I still believe in fairies and miracles.

I am the only one in the family to have inherited her strawberry blond hair and I can now say with much love and pride, Granny thank you for your name.