My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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Albertopolis: Prince Albert is in the park

The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens

IF there is a heaven, it’s lovely to think that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are happily reunited for all time. Watching the second season of Victoria, Lord Melbourne finally out of the Queen’s head, we see the young Victoria’s absolute devotion to her handsome prince consort. I’d be swooning over Albert too if he looked like Tom Hughes. The real Queen’s devotion to her man—besides bearing him five children—begins with her commissioning of the Albert Memorial in honor of the prince consort who died in 1861.


We ran into the Albert Memorial last year on our trip to London when we were walking in Kensington Gardens. As you can see in the top picture, the memorial is directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall

Victoria’s love and devotion is further evidenced—remember, Victoria wore black for all the remaining days of her life after his death—by her naming of the Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences in 1867 when she laid the foundation stone. She was too overcome by emotion to speak. 


Albertopolis

IF there is a heaven, I imagine they both have a giggle that these days, the area surrounding the Royal Albert Hall, full of colleges, educational and cultural sites is affectionately nicknamed Albertopolis! A passionate advocate of education reform, Albert, who was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in 1847, campaigned for a more modern university curriculum, calling for the teaching of modern history and natural sciences in addition to the traditional mathematics and classics.

Celebrating everything British on British Isles Friday with Joy Weese Moll


Comments

  1. That is quite a memorial she had built, I would love to see it in person one day. Bet they would get a kick out of Albertopolis!

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    1. Wouldn't it make a great title for a book?

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  2. We were all around this, but managed to miss it. A little too far south when we were at the Science Museum. A little too far north when we were in Kensington Gardens because we were focused on tracking down the Peter Pan statue and checking out The Orangery.

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    1. Funny! We found the Peter Pan statue but missed the Orangery completely!

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