by Isobel Poltroon
When my mother was dying her wedding ring dwindled. It became thin, dull and sallow.
I assumed the ring had melted with her at the crematorium, until I found it hiding in a drawer in my father’s house, or maybe it found me. I put it on. It started glowing again – with a pinkish lustre, as it was made in wartime and the alloy includes a lot of copper. I’m never going to take it off. It’s my Precious.
And what are we to make of my mother – this Daily Mail reader with film-star looks who preached virginity and whose mantra was ‘Hate can be as sustaining as love’? She longed for happy endings in films and books; hated music in minor keys; her favourite colour was a depressive’s blue; in her coffin was Persuasion, Jane Austen’s mellow account of stoicism and resignation.