Amongst the things that were left to me by my great aunt Delia, were her sewing scissors, her Bible, her father’s pocket watch, and a tobacco tin which was filled to overflowing with things to tangle you up and things to prick you. Delia lived in East Belfast, in the house that she was born in, never married, made wedding dresses all her life and lived until 103 years old.
I visited her every Sunday and have vivid memories of sitting on green carpet which I’m sure was worn in patches by the footsteps of her father, mother and siblings. One brother and one sister died when she was young, with only Delia and one sister remaining. Delia fell in love with a man and my Granda often told me stories of how she loved a man she could not be with for most of her life.
For several years now I have been working on a series of sonnets to my aunt Delia- about the irony of her solitary life, her passion for her craft and the loneliness of her existence in a house filled with ghosts and lost love.