Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Alexander's Roots and Nonna's Ribbons

My mother wrote a book of family history, completing it about six months before she died. It was written for her grandson (Alexander) in her words "to record some family stories which were in danger of being lost and forgotten".

Here is one such story, describing my mother's Italian grandmother.

"I have few personal memories of Nonna Rita but they are very vivid. They include sitting in the dining room at the Weiss family home at 38 St Andrew's Road, around 1949, watching Nonna make pasta. She put tea towels over the backs of the chairs and hung strips of pasta in great pale swathes of lasagne and pappardelle flowing over the chair backs, and we called the pasta Nonna's ribbons.
My mother found her quite demanding, and the problem was probably compounded by communication failures because Eve spoke no Italian and Nonna very little English. Eve remembered raised voices on one occasion when guests were coming for dinner and at the very last moment before they arrived Nonna insisted on having the meal served to her in her bedroom instead of joining the party."

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