Meet my nana. She's 86, raised 3 kids by herself (because grandfather was a lovely guy, but PTSD that some people get in Nazi prisoner-of-war camp kinda limits you in a daily life). As a young girl she decided to get some education. Nobody pushed her, it was her who wanted something more in her life. As a teenager she was enrolled to a tailoring school. Living in the outskirts of Warsaw, going to school in Warsaw city center just after WWII, meant that every morning she had to walk 4 kms to a railway station, carrying her own chair (school didn't have any). For commuting alone she needed 3-4 hours daily.
She was a skilled tailor and soon became a manager in the state-owned Moda Polska. Even now she can't stand seing people wearing uneven plaid jackets (just don't when you're around my nana). I remember being 6 or 7 and having piles of Matell catalogues with all those pretty Barbie gowns that weren't even available in Poland (and if they were, they costed gazzilion zlots). My granny used to spend hours on turning her scraps of lace, silk and batiste into stunning Barbie dresses. After she retired she started travelling - the grandmother style - which meant visiting every Catholic sanctuary available in Europe (thumbs up for bringing the Virgin-Mary-statue-barometer, the only barometer that would make you go straight to heaven, religious and practical!). She re-married when she was 78, shortly before she bought a super vintage (well, old and probably dangerous) Lada Samara and renewed her driving licence, which raised panic among the whole family. Now she's 86 and for last Christmas she demanded an anti-wrinkle face cream. She also says that she'd get herself a cat once she gets old.
I'd like to take her for a short trip somewhere abroad, to a high standard hotel with scented towels and little chocolates on pillows, to say thank you for the best Barbie gowns ever made. I had this plan for a long time, but now, is the time when I really can make it happen. Next stop, Budapest!