Grandmother

The haunted manor house where she was born

My paternal grandparents were born on neighbouring estates in the Talsu District of Latvia. As the crow flies there are approximately 8kms between Nurmhusen, my father’s family’s estate, and Dursupe where my grandmother Sophie Elisabeth Marie von Hohenastenberg-Wigandt, was born on 21 September 1881. I wish I had known that

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To Live Without Hope is to Cease to Live

Fyodor Dostoevsky, the great Russian writer, wrote those words. I’m sure they were written from experience. My grandparents, Paul and Olga Woronoff understood how important hope is to life. If they had not had hope they might not have survived through the tumultuous years that their homeland of Russia threw

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The home of her childhood was wantonly destroyed

My grandmother’s family’s first country home was destroyed by fire. After that the Kleinmichel family spent their summers at Ivnia in the Koursk region. The family lived in Moscow during the other three seasons but, as summer approached, the children would begin to dream of the journey to Ivnia. Ivnia

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Was She Always Mentally Fragile?

Mental fragility – it can happen to anyone and is often triggered by traumatic events. Last week I wrote about my grandmother’s grief and depression, which gave me food for thought – perhaps she had always suffered from mental fragility? I thought I would explore this idea. I know my

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And After That, She Never Learnt to Drive

I never saw my grandmother get behind the wheel of a car. Whenever we went out as a family, she always sat in the front passenger’s seat, no matter who was driving. It was a matter of respect. As the matriarch of the family, she sat in the front. Once,

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