Tag Archives: Mitford family

And the best friends of all are sisters….

Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters -never had to have a chaperone, “No sir” – I’m here to keep my eye on her.
Irving Berlin 1988-1989.  Composer and lyricist

Today, sitting here on the far side of the world, I have been thinking of my sisters.  One in London and one in Los Angeles  If we had set out to do so we could not have settled so far apart.

Dancing class

Dancing class

Sisters have a special kind of relationship, particularly as we grow older and move away.  But a sister is also a very special kind of friend.  Even if we do not see each other often, we know we are there in spirit for each other.

When my husband died my sisters were there for me although at a distance.   I felt their love and sorrow, just as if they had been here with me, holding my hands.

And then when their husbands each died, I was there for them.  Sending all kind and good wishes, knowing that although they had been divorced from their spouses for several years, they still shared a past with these men, and that past had produced their children.

When we were growing up in London all those years ago, we had our fights as all siblings do but we always were there for each other.  And we showed a solid front against Mother if one or other of us was in trouble. Mother as the common enemy.  Where else do you find this kind of loyalty?

Mother and girls

Mother with her three daughters

We did everything together and went everywhere together, in some part because our Mother always took all of us wherever we were going.  That is until we were old enough to make our own way to wherever.

Over the years our friendship has grown and I often think  the quote by Christina Rosettie (English Poet1830-1894) was penned for us:

For there is no friend like a sister, in calm or stormy weather, to cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down,
to strengthen whilst one stands.

And there are many instances of famous sisters in history and to this day:

  • The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Ann, all much-loved novelists
  • The Mitford sisters, six celebrated and sometimes scandalous sisters
  • The Gabor sisters Magda, Zsa Zsa and Eva again celebrated and scandalous
  • Linda and Loretta Sanchez are the first sisters to serve together in Congress.  Read about the sisters here.
  • The Andrew Sisters.  Patti, Maxene and La Verne were a close harmony singing group of the swing era.
  • Abby and Ann Landers – two sisters who each wrote an advice column for two different newspapers.
  • Sarah and Angelina Grimke – 19th-century American Quakers, educators and writers who were early advocates of abolitionism and woman’s rights.

And the list goes on.

So if you have a sister or sisters, count your blessings and if you don’t well I offer my condolences and suggest you find a special friend whom you can adopt as a sister.  Here in New Zealand, I have two as my ‘real’ sisters are so far away.

And one last quote for the day from Clara Ortega

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.
We know each other as we always were.  We know each others hearts.
We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets,
family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.

And a note to my friends out there – if anybody can tell me anything about Clara Ortega I would love to hear.


Titles, country estates and all that jazz.

Since I was very young and visited  Chatsworth House in Derbyshire,  I have been fascinated by the house and those who have lived in it over a very long time.

Chatsworth House

Via Wikipedia

I had another visit there when staying with a cousin of my late husband several years ago.  It has lost none of its fascination for me.  In fact, I think that it increased following that visit.

I had bought and read “Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire” some years ago and again that only served to increase my interest in  Chatsworth House and the Devonshires.

And then this morning on our local radio program I heard Deborah the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire being interviewed about her latest book –” Wait for Me”.

The Mitford Family

The Mitford Family – Wikipedia

Deborah was the youngest of the Mitford sisters.  How amazing that six sisters could all have had such eventful and interesting lives.  If you are interested in reading more about this family of six girls and one boy click here. and for a recent  interview Deborah had with Stephen Moss at The Guardian click here.  This 91 year old is yet another example of the active, older ladies I keep coming across.

And I just love this quote from an interview earlier last year. “Being a duchess doesn’t save you from official forms. “When I had to fill in my occupation, I used to put ‘housewife’,” says the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. “Because that’s what I was: the wife of a house… Well, three houses, as it happened.”  How very very refreshing and down to earth.

I am quite sure that Deborah is my favorite of the sisters but if you want some more information on this fascinating family, without traipsing to the library to pick up a book go to Booked All Week

So I am off to the library to pick up, or perhaps reserve a copy of “Wait For Me”.

“The only thing that makes one place more attractive to me than another is the quantity of heart I find in it.”  Jane Welsh Carlyle, Scottish Poet 1801-1866