Dr Ailsa Holland

My maternal grandmother, Gran, died when I was three, of neglected breast cancer. She’d been too busy looking after her husband to mention it.

I used to sit on her lap in the living room of her bungalow and we’d tell stories about going to the seaside and eating strawberry ice cream, inspired by our matching strawberry birthmarks.

Ailsa's rose gold watch 29.1.22

This was the watch that was on her wrist as her hands moved in story and held me. When she died I started sleepwalking.

(Copyright: Ailsa Holland, 2022)

Twitter: @ailsaHolland


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