Betty loved her childhood home on Ancona Street.
The property was built as a home for the Earl of Strathmore. His earldom had come by marriage and after Juliet’s death he felt the need to prove himself worthy of keeping it. He sold up the estate and had a house built in town which he left in his will to be used for educational purposes.
The school employed Betty’s mother and father, so Betty was raised there.
Over the decades the term ‘educational’ became very loosely applied to the functions of Strathmore House. From school to college, rehabilitation, and eventually divided up into elderly flats with rooms that ran classes in care for the elderly. Part of the course being volunteering with the residents.
Betty lived in what was once the parlour. Not the grandest of apartments but it had two crucial things a window on the street and a door near the entrance.
Everyone knew Betty. She would watch life go by, chat to people as they went about their business and sometimes, they would come in for a cuppa and a chat.
Walter would have hated every minute but since he died their old home was too painful to live in.
The memories of her time in Ancona Street wrapped around her like a blanket. The only pain she had witnessed within these walls was made better with hugs and cuddly toys.
Betty was grateful she still had people to hug.
Walter would always be with her but here the reminders of his suffering were not along for the ride.