Aunty Rose.

If aunty called when we were young, my Mum would say “I wish she'd rung”! We weren't allowed in the front room, whilst Mum raced round with mop and broom.

The table would be set just so, our faces scrubbed and all aglow. A tin of ham in aspic jelly, a special treat for our young bellies.

Crusts cut off the buttered bread, with blocks of cheese or salmon spread. Hard boiled eggs and salad cream, a feast of which we used to dream.

Fruit cocktail with a tin of milk, blancmange that was a smooth as silk. A buttered scone, a sandwich cake. Small jam tarts that we could make.

Tea in a pot in a warm cosy, flowers from the garden in a posy. The posh tea cups we kept for best, that just came out for special guests.

And we would sit as quiet as mice, whilst Aunty said the cake was nice. We listened to the ticking clock, in polished shoes and Sunday's frock.

Then we would asked to be excused, we were polite and never rude. We were allowed to read a book, then curl up in the inglenook.

But Aunty she was always kind, and she would always leave behind a shiny sixpence for some sweets, a very generous special treat.

I won't forget those childhood days, remembered as a golden haze. And even now a powdered nose reminds me of my Aunty Rose. Jan Millward©