Everyone always wants to know where I got the name Tottie Limejuice, the pen-name under which I wrote Sell the Pig and which I also use for my Facebook and Twitter names.
Well she's an invention of my late Auntie Ethel, mother's older sister. She was the one who never married, whose role was helping her mother with the large brood. Auntie had a wonderful way of making up words and phrases, like a floper-dopperer, for someone who was a bit foppish, or kneely-knawling down, for when you kneel but also have to scrabble about a bit. Auntie was a dress-maker, seamstress and milliner so when she was pinning up hems, she had to do a lot of kneely-knawling.
Mother with her family. From left to right: younger sister Doris, younger brother John, brother in law Leslie, (the Judge, Doris's husband), mother, and older sister Ethel.
As Auntie got older she got very confused and would accuse glamorous and well-off younger sister of coming to her house and stealing her home-made knickers and swanning around "like Tottie Limejuice". I liked the name so much, I claimed it for my own.
It was Auntie Ethel who encouraged me to buy my grottage in Lincolnshire when it was in such an awful state the surveyor I got to check it over for mortgage purposes described it as "unfit for human habitation!". She was a frequent visitor, with mother, to my homes wherever I lived, including travelling by coach out to Germany where I lived for four years.
Like mother, she was always interested in gardening so whenever they visited, we always took a trip to a local garden centre or park.