Aunt Betty Brown was married to my mother’s brother, Desmond and they lived in Granley Gardens for as long as I remember. I hate that cliche and, again, it isn’t true. But nearly. I first moved to Cheltenham as a nearly five-year-old around 1951 and first knew of Des and Betty’s house in the mid to late 1950s. 60 years in the same house is a loooong time. Des died many years ago from his heavy smoking – as he knew he would. Shame. When Betty’s daughter phoned on Wednesday to tell me that her mum died in her sleep at the young age of 77, by coincidence I was reading a Congratulations on your Grandson card from her to us for the birth of Nathan to my daughter 3 weeks ago. As one comes another goes, it seems. Betty was a great knitter (no jokes about big nits thank you) and, like my sister, would knit clothes for the family new babies. She also had sent my 3-year-old grandson a new jacket last week. Interestingly, it is so garishly green that he is forbidden to wear it outside the house! Very little phased Aunty Betty. I would cycle the 150 miles from Chester to Cheltenham every year, stopping at youth hostels or B&Bs en route. I couldn’t let family and friends know in advance in case my legs turned their revolutions into revolt and I had to abort. So, I would turn up in cycling gear and with helmet and sunglasses knock on a door to ask for a cup of tea. All but Betty would look at me as if I was an anonymous courier or a passing chancer. She knew it was me instantly and even if she hadn’t seen me for a year would immediately pull me in and get the kettle on. She strongly encouraged me to write fiction, and although science fiction and horror weren’t her personal cup of tea, she’d read my books and stories and pass honest judgement. A worthy lady, remembered with fondness for ever.