29TH September 1908; the weather was unusually warm for the time of year and I can’t help but imagine my great grandmother, Clara Blacker, hot, bothered and exhausted by her contractions, probably sick from chloroform, desperately willing Elva’s birth to be over.
Happily, its Elva’s adventures I’m chasing not Clara’s, so there’s no need for me to reflect on my own experiences of labour, but as tempting as it might be, I also couldn’t mark what would have been Elva’s 110th birthday, by sleeping, staring and crying – which is undoubtedly all she would have been capable of at the time.
I thought about baking a cake with 110 candles or listing 110 Elva facts or even undertaking a sponsored activity of 110 somethings, but I couldn’t think of what ‘something’ to do, am awful at baking and lists are a level of organisation that eternally escapes me – which relevantly or not is a source of great irritation to my husband, who forever tells me to “make a note” so I don’t forget!
I pondered and I wondered and just as I was beginning to recognize the beginnings of a tantrum, it came to me. It was such a simple idea at that point, and I created the following Instagram post:
Today would have been Elva’s 110th Birthday and this is my birthday card. Clearly the artistic gene skipped me. In honour of this day I have set up a donations page www.elva-blacker.muchloved.com PLEASE LIKE SHARE AND DONATE. Let’s see if we can get £110,000 in her memory. Even small donations add up. can you spare 110pence? #rafbf #110
Before I knew it, my tiny idea became huge and I’ve inadvertently set my self up for immense failure. £110,000.00 is an insane amount of money and I posted it before I had a chance to talk myself out of it. But it’s out there now and I am super committed.
So, to that end, if anyone is actually reading this, please follow the link on my website and DONATE DONATE DONATE.. Salute Elva, wish her a happy birthday 110th and help those she herself served.