'Elspeth Smith' by Phillida Ball 2018.
My mum's friend Elspeth has died, and we received this beautiful card, featuring a painting of Elspeth, to let us know.
I never met Elspeth, but have heard stories about her my entire life. She and Mum worked as community health visitors together, before I was born. Elspeth called Mum regularly throughout my childhood and teens, and they would always talk for ages, with lots of laughter. I remember speaking to her myself on several occasions. I suppose she was just one of Mum's friends from the past, part of that wider circle of family and friends that you take totally for granted when you are young. It is precious though, it means more to you than you think, and while it is may have been there for as long as you can remember, it is not for ever.
I didn't know that Elspeth wrote poetry, but this evening I googled the book in the painting, "Keeping Busy: new and selected poems" by Elspeth Smith. It is real. She has in fact written two poetry books and a pamphlet. We've ordered copies of them all. You are missed, Elspeth.