On achieving 75


First, I was a daughter, livening up my parents’ lives,

Then I became a sister, she was the bane of my life.

Always wished I was a boy, they always seemed to have more fun,

However, being a girl turned out to be not so bad….

I suppose.


Later, I became a wife, which turned me into an Auntie,

A mother next, not girls, but boys, came to enchant me,

And all too soon it seems from here, a Gran was made of me,

This time a girl, so some compensation I could see. …

Pretty clothes… hair in bows.


A working life, an office life, in advertising firms,

Until the children came and took control,

Three years of nursing, cooking, washing, …was enough

I joined with Robin in his Miners trilogy….

Wonderful stories….melting candles on his 75th birthday cake.


A year away in Nederland, where cheese and flowers grow,

Experience can’t be forgotten, a blissful episode,

South London, though, is home, wherever I may go,

And the Northern Line would carry me to Camden Road,

For 23 years – working for the union -  travelling on the sardine line.

Got a scooter…………


A union rep, a striker too, supporter of the miners,

Learned to play recorders, first descant, treble, tenor,

And finally the lovely bass, the sound I most adore,

And singing too, an alto, although I sometimes soar

Into Soprano. ….second line.


But now, at three score  - plus ten  - plus five,

Being still up and definitely alive,

I find that being a Great-Grandma,

Is taking things perhaps a bit too far,

I mean…..there’s six of them!!!


Great Aunt Annie, living in New York,

Through weather, depression and two world wars

Survived to age one hundred and four,

So that is where I’m aiming, hoping to complete

Athena’s quilt…….(also known as “Heritage” because

it’s been a work in progress for more than a quarter of a century)


I can’t abide the wars and strife,

Which have been colouring all my life,

And hope to strive for peace and human rights

The rest of my days, - but not my nights,

After all – you need an occasional party,

and time to grow things on the allotment,

and make patchwork quilts,…..

and learn new things………enjoy life.

It’s time to open some champagne………………….cheers


Anne Schuman