Monday, October 22, 2012

Joyce Wordsworth


In this age of texting and abbreviations that are used in the name of “communication” it is a pleasant and welcome change to hear someone speaking English, the way it is meant to be spoken. I had the privilege of meeting such a person who knows the value of the language and she is 90 years old.
Yesterday was her birthday and I was very much there to witness the sparkle in her eyes while she cut the birthday cake. I am talking about Joyce Wordsworth.

Long distance wishes

As the party progressed she saw me busy with my camera, she beckoned me and asked “so how many photos have you clicked so far? A hundred?”  
I told her “It could be a few hundreds, but more than that I have to make a confession”  Her eyes widened and she brought her ear closer to me urging me to go on. (I felt as if I was kneeling at the confessional)
I told her that I took the liberty of clicking some photographs of her house while she was busy with her guests outside in the lawns.
“Really?”
Now I was not sure if that meant “Why?”  or “ without asking me?”
So I quickly added “you see I write blogs and I feel I should write a post on you. I would like some photographs to accompany my post”
She gave me an approving nod with a smile. I told her that once it is done I would bring my lap top and show her the post.
“Yes please do that, and also tell your wife to get me that freshly baked bread that she promised me long back”
Now it was my turn to raise the eyebrows. Such sharp memory!

with her nieces and nephew

So now I have to make sure both are delivered on time. Here is a person who will not forget anything and here I am who does not remember what I did yesterday morning!!
"where is the bread?"

She was a teacher in some of the prestigious schools in Pune. Her ex-students approached her and requested her (on bended knees) to accompany them for a party in advance for her 90th Birthday. She willingly accepted and joined them. She still takes  Spoken English classes.
with her brothers

Walking around her small cottage was an experience for me. I did hear many stories about how she refuses to dispose the old things in her cottage. I think each and every article in the house must be memories for her. 



Those key chains, those photographs, there must be stories attached to every item. I have made a mental note to come later and sit with her and talk to her. I am sure there will be many stories that she could unravel for me, both about herself and about Poona.

The party in progress

And now a picture of her from 1962 when she was teaching in one of the prominent schools in Pune (then known as Poona )
I think its easy to spot Joyce.



After all it is not every day that one meets someone who was born just after the aftermath of World War One.
The whole Wordsworth clan

Happy Birthday Joyce :-) There are not many like you . . . .

PS:
Joyce Wordsworth expired on 23rd Nov 2013 at the age of 91.

43 comments:

R. Ramesh said...

awesome yar..god bless..best wishes to joyce..gr8 post sir

Anonymous said...

Touching ..so aptly captured .Cindy

Beth said...

A belated happy birthday to Joyce Wordsworth. You got some very nice shots of the happy occasion.

Lorraine said...

A lovely birthday tribute to a most admired lady! I enjoyed each photo :)

Howard Hill said...

Howard & Sheila. Happy Birthday Joyce & Many, Many, More. God Bless You. XX

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Looks like a very festive occasion!

You asked if the barn on my blog was inhabited. It was right next to a Victorian house, and I suspect the owner used it as a workshop, as he was a woodcarver.

NRIGirl said...

Thank you for introducing us to Ms.Wordsworth, Haddock. It was nice meeting her. Wishing Joyce belated birthday wishes and many more happy returns!

Barbara said...

That looks like such a great celebration!!

Gattina said...

Some women age really very well ! My friend's mother celebrated her 90th birthday and guess what she wanted for this special event .... an iPad !!! She is a computer freak, just amazing !!

TexWisGirl said...

what a sweet woman. i like all of her collectibles. :)

Amanda said...

What an amazing woman! :)

Pearl said...

The elderly are precious, aren't they? The old ways, the patience...

Pearl

Mary said...

She seems to be a great lady...long live the sweetie.

Roshni AaMom said...

what a lovely tribute! She sounds like a wonderful person and her house looks chock-full of memories!

EG CameraGirl said...

What a lovely post about a remarkable woman. Hope I have such a great memory when I reach 90!

Bertha Beanboat said...

What a touching tribute! She sounds indeed like a remarkable woman and I wish she had been my teacher. I don't know her in person, so I'm glad you introduced her via your post. And I'd like to add: Happy Birthday, Joyce! And many more years of health and happiness.

Ms Sparrow said...

If I live to 90, I'm sure my house would look like Joyce's. What a treasure trove!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

What a joyous, fun, celebratory post you've shared. And I wish Joyce many many more happy days ahead. I must say this was a very touching, loving tribute. Well done.

[I too love to hear the language spoken and written properly.]

Pinku said...

lovely post...and how true to her name she looks..truly joyous is Joyce.

Prathima Rao said...

Nice write up & and so in love with the photographs of the house..She seems like such a wonderful person..Belated happy birthday to her...
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Aditi said...

Thank-you for dropping by and leaving a comment on my blog post! :)

Your post is so beautifully written ...I loved every photograph ...and was a little sad when the article came to an end. Joyce seems like such a fascinating person! I would love the chance to meet her...being a Pune girl myself Im sure she would have such wonderful stories of the days gone by....

And what a lovely home ...where the smallest object tells a story...

A true delight to read! God Bless Joyce and may she have many more birthday celebrations!

BlueShell said...

Marvelous....
God bless you all.
BShell

deeps said...

that seems to have been a wonderful and memorable time you had had with her...

Haddock said...

Yes Aditi, why not, maybe we can fix up a time and see if she will give us an audience :-)

TheKeyBunch said...

What a lovely post...happy bday Joyce!!!

And Haddock, thanks for your visit to my blog, and for leaving a lovely comment!

sharon

Asha said...

wow, will await more on this grand old lady. I met a similar lady with sharp memory called Shanta Rameshwar Rao, she is the founder principal of Vidyaranya School, a very famous school which celebrated 50 years recently in Hyderabad. Where the pattern of teaching is not like your regular school. A master story teller, she has written many stories for orient longman. Was amazed at the 86 year old lady'smemory when she pinned me and told me about meeting her in a wedding crowd some 5 years back and her sense of humour was terrific.

Perhaps there was something in the air those days.

Susan said...

Hello Haddock: Thanks for your tribute to Joyce Wordsworth. I'm sure she must feel very honored to have her story be told around the world!

Also thanks for your visit and comment to my blog.

Blessings to all. Susan

Roberta said...

Hi Haddock! Such a nice post! And thanks for visiting my blog! Just wanted you to know that the birds have flown south for the winter, so not to worry about them being in the snowed in bird house! :)

About Last Weekend said...

What a wonderful woman and that house is a treasure trove!

Annis Pratt said...

I like your sense of the house as showing forth Joyce Wordsworth's character. If you were writing a short story about a person like that you could dramatize what she is like from her possessions.It's fun reading a faraway blog after seeing your comment on mine. Yes, many rewrites are necessary to get the style of an article or book just the way you want it. After that, a copy editor goes over it all over again! But all this is worth it when something I have written is published and I receive it in the mail - a golden, magic moment!

Annis Pratt said...

I like your sense of the house as showing forth Joyce Wordsworth's character. If you were writing a short story about a person like that you could dramatize what she is like from her possessions.It's fun reading a faraway blog after seeing your comment on mine. Yes, many rewrites are necessary to get the style of an article or book just the way you want it. After that, a copy editor goes over it all over again! But all this is worth it when something I have written is published and I receive it in the mail - a golden, magic moment!

Renu said...

I always feel that language should be used in its original way only.but alas today languages are mixed in the name of adaptation and progress or evolving...

Jessie Lobo said...

Hey Joe that was interesting...It would be a real pleasure to meet and talk to Joyce...hope to read more about her

Anita said...

Joe has a talent for introducing his readers to the most interesting people, and you, Joyce Wordsworth, are at the top of the list! You are smart, wise, and beautiful, and appear to maintain your zest for life. I'll bet you are an inspiration to all who know and love you. And what a great family you have! Blessing to you all, and I wish you many more quality-filled birthdays.

ps. I collect key chains, too; and having them lined up on the edge of a shelf has given me an idea of what to do with mine. :)

Anita said...

Me again. My face didn't appear on my note to you above. Here I am this time. :)

Anita said...

See my additional comment below.

CAntony said...

Posts like this remind us that there is an overarching story to life - that there are people in the world that made the most of their day-to-days and have lived a fulfilling life. These people are beacons to a place and a person we can and should aspire to be.
Thank you, Joyce, for being an inspiration!
And thank you, Joe Chetta for introducing Joyce to us!

KayEm said...

What a lovely tribute. Happy Birthday, Joyce.

Priya Mani said...

A charming old woman in a dainty little cottage surrounded by such warmth and happiness... Can it get more picture perfect? Your post (and its fiesty heroine, Joyce) reads like a fairy tale, so evocative and incredible, especially in fast-paced times like ours...

Marriage made in heaven said...

I wish, I wish, I wish I could meet her once! She must have a bag full of stories to tell and she sounds so interesting. You are lucky you know her! Hope you got the time to meet her for that tete a tete.

Lazy Pineapple said...

A very happy birthday to Joyce. I love the look of her home, it is so full of knick knacks :)
She must have so many stories and wonderful experiences. 90 and still going strong :) Hats off to her...

Fred Miller said...

I am pleasantly surprised to see this post about a lady who taught me from the age of 7 and who has left such a mark on so many Bishopites like myself worldwide. I cannot add much to the glowing comments that have been pouring since the news of her 90th birthday approached. Most of my reading and writing skills received impetus through her guidance but for me what was special was the fact that she treated me like a favorite son, knowing I was being raised by foster aunts after my mom passed away when I was barely five. This is about to be enjoyed by all the old members of the Bishopites group on Facebook that I moderate.....continued success in 2013 !

Hiten Vasa said...

Lovely wishes to lovely Lady of Bishop's School . . . . Unfortunately for me, i joined School, a little too old to be taught by her . . . . But did have interactions with her.

God bless her and keep her healthy.