I go into full investigative mode, if there is one thing I love it is what the press nowadays calls a "backstory". It turns out that Aunty R was a member of a troupe called the Winstanley Babes when she was young. They must have been reasonably professional and well-known as she was recalling performing for a week in Leicester which is a fair distance from her native Liverpool. The date - as best we were able to track it down - must have been in the late 1920s or very early 1930s. A little bit of web-based research when I got home revealed that the Winstanley Babes was not a figment of an old lady's imagination but a professional troupe active from the twenties up until the fifties and based in the North West. Jimmy Clitheroe - who went on to find fame on the radio - was an early member of the troupe. And so - it would seem - was Aunty R. I even tracked down an old theatre poster advertising a show featuring the Babes.
Aunty R will be coming for tea on Boxing Day. She might think that she is coming for a rare trip out of the Home and a chance to be with all her family. In fact she is heading for a session of detailed interrogation that would not be out of place in Guantanamo Bay. I want to know more about the Babes and the time they spent on the road. I want to know what she did, what she sang, what she danced. Aunty R will know it all - I doubted her memory once but now I have learnt my lesson. She might not know what day of the week it is or who the Prime Minister is (indeed, I've been having trouble with these two questions recently), but she will know all about the Winstanley Babes. And that's good enough for me.