Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Happy St Hilary's Day!

Reputedly the coldest day of the year, and a time for feasting on a Roman scale. I'm all for that while this pesky snow lasts. I feel I should celebrate as 'Hilary' is my adopted pen-name. I took it in memory of my Great-Aunt, who was born Edna Hill but was known to all her friends as Hilary. I never knew her, but I've read her letters to my Great-Uncles, including one that begins, 'Dearest Chucky, when will you gladden my eyes with the sight of you?'

Hilary was elder sister to my grandfather, Stan Hill, who died in Batu Lintang POW camp. After the war, Hilary emigrated to America, where she was headmistress of Nightingale Bamford School in New York. She married a New Yorker, Basil, Robillard, and they lived a rare old life from all accounts, in an apartment on East 92nd Street, members of the Cosmopolitan Club and a dashing pair about town until poor Hilary was diagnosed with cancer, from which she suffered for a long time before dying in her early fifties.

Here's to Great-Aunt Hilary, and to feasting.


Gay Degani said...

Ahh, how your writing gladdens my heart. Always find something here that makes me smile. Love the way your mind works. And I have my own St. Hillary so here's to all of them, even the one who will remain unmentioned.

Sarah Hilary said...

Your writing has the same effect on me, Gay. *g*