March 12 — Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.
Audrey Ball HAYWOOD (1932-1995), my mother, worked outside the home as a teacher's assistant in St John's Infant School, Glastonbury, Somerset. She worked with the four-year-olds who were coming to school for the first time, and often had amusing stories to tell about what they said and did.
The most recent thing, which impressed me the most, was after she had died. I was staying with my father in Glastonbury, to look after him and arrange the funeral. I popped down to the local supermarket to buy basics like bread and milk, and the checkout girl commented on the passing of my mother (by then it had been in the local paper). I'll never forget what she said:
"She taught me to read."
[This is a reposting of the narrative I wrote in Fearless Females Month 2011]