I miss my Gran. Of all the people in my (adoptive) English/Welsh family, it’s her I’d really like to talk to. Because she’s the one who knows how it all happened, I’m sure of it. She handled the deal with the Sidhe, she arranged the “private” adoption for my London parents. And that means she might know who my father is, or at least be able to tell me a good story.
But I’ve followed that advice given to me by the Ferryman years ago. I’ve never tried to find my old family, and that includes Gran. At first, it was hard, but living in Realms without technology created some distance. Now that I do have access to technology again, I’ve too much to do to waste even a few hours on what I suspect would be either fruitless—or painful.
She had the best house in mid-Wales, set back, and in October I’d visit her, from about mid-October through the first week of November. Going to the University school had its perks, and one of them was being able to take holiday without them getting all uptight about it.
Now I can see it only in memories
Now, I can see it only in memories. And when I remember it or dream of it, I’m always some funny amalgamation of who I am now and who I was then. Here I’m in one of my Elf-Clan outfits (though when I look more closely, it really looks like the work of Senzafine, and I’d know that stuff anywhere). I remember that tree being the tallest tree in the world, and the little lighted garden shed my grandmother tended plants in all year round.
In my memory, I can look at it both with the sense of wonder I always felt going there, and from a more calculated, adult perspective. While we visited at other times of the year, my Autumn trip was always just me, alone. My parents, unlike me, couldn’t get away from their lecture halls for three weeks in October and November. No; for that time, she wanted me there by myself. She wanted me for Samhain.
I used to think Hallowe’en was pretty naff, and Gran used to make jokes about it, too. But, she said, it was also the old New Year, and she wanted her granddaughter there with her, to celebrate that time.
What do I remember?
I don’t remember us doing anything particularly special or anything that in my child mind felt strange or weird around that time. We had a nice dinner, sometimes with my Great-Aunts from Aberystwyth when they could be bothered to come. Gran always set an extra place at the table: she said it was for Granddad, whom I never met. Eventually, I read about dumb suppers, probably in secondary school, and I recall asking her about it.
“Clever clogs,” she said. And there the discussion ended.
We never went to the village Bonfire Night celebration. Instead, Gran got my uncle Huw around to build a huge bonfire in the back garden, which was once Granddad’s barley and vegetable patch, she always said. Now I think of it, it was a bit too big for the usual back garden, but mid-Wales is much more spread out than London, so I never questioned it. I’d watch from the window of the big house: you could just see the garden area if you looked just-so through the trees. He spent hours building a tower of logs while Gran and I made the Guy out of straw. She’d invite all her friends and a few children I knew from the village, and we’d have our own fire, far from the crowds and the fireworks.
I’m sure I’m thinking about this now because it’s just turned October, and though Faerie doesn’t change with the seasons as profoundly as other places, we still celebrate them and consider the cyclical nature of the world and the Realms around us. Lately, I’ve been thinking: if I could relive any event from my childhood, it wouldn’t be Mum’s lavish birthday parties, or getting my PhD, or even that first kiss from Richard. It would be staring, transfixed, at a fire that seemed ten times as tall as I was, sparklers in my hands. But I wouldn’t go back to one of the ones with loads of people. I’d go back to the last one, the year I was twenty-one, the one where it was just Gran and me. She got village boys to build the pyre, and we made the Guy same as always. The boys scampered off to the village celebration, so it was just us, staring up at the fire, silently watching the effigy burn. Uncle Huw had died just a few months earlier, so it felt like a sombre occasion. Gran had tears in her eyes for part of that fire, and I thought at the time she was grieving for her son.
Now I wonder if she wasn’t also bracing herself against the knowledge that I too would disappear from her life before the next Bonfire Night.
Head: Catwa, Keme Bento Mesh Head
Hair: Nyne, Tahari
Skin: Skin: Lumae, Catwa Neoma, T1 (All current skin lines are available at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Song, Frost Eyes
Tunic: Senzafine, Velista Tunic (Available NOW at We Love Roleplay!)
Leggings: Senzafine, Alaire Applier Leggings
Boots: Senzafine, Telcontar Boots
Necklace and Earrings: Empyrean Forge, Homecoming
Location: Awenia, The Box (platform)
Autumn scene, including large tree, garden shed, couch, lights, bridge, pumpkin, swing, and boulder: Trompe Loeil, Ceres Outdoor Scene
Poses: All from An Lar