Friday, April 21, 2006

There's no one quite like Grandma

'Nanny' (as I still call her much to my sisters' amusement) is making my mother miserable. She is refusing to do anything for herself now but also is being argumentative and practically accused mum and Auntie C of stealing from her. It would be tempting to blame old age but to be honest she has always been awful.

Other people's grans are sweet silver-haired old ladies with perms, who like knitting. Not ours. Here are a few of my favourite stories about her:

1. The Gypsy and the Holly Berries
About 25 years ago, Nanny was having an affair with a Gypsy (I know its un-pc, but this is how he was described to me). She decided that she had had enough of Grandad and wanted rid of him - the Gypsy told her that she could poison him by putting holly berries in his food. She tried this but Grandad survived - her cooking was awful so after upteeen years married to her, he obviously had a cast-iron stomach. We know this because Nanny told my mother this - lovely.

2. Woo-ing with Cheese
About 10 years ago (i.e. when she was about 70), Nanny was playing 3 suitors off against each other, according to what gifts they could bring her. One brought her meats, another brought her booze, but the third, a naive 45 year old apparently, brought her flowers. This provoked the response, "Flowers? What do I want with flowers? I've got a garden full of bastard flowers. Could you not bring me a nice lump of cheese instead?"

3. Shoeless Wonder
Nanny always enjoyed 'a pie and a pint' in the pub by the market. Not exactly typical of a woman of her age, but fair enough. However, one Saturday afternoon my sisters were out shopping with her friends (this was probably about 5 years ago) when they spotted a little old woman slumped on the pavement outside of the pub, wearing no shoes. It was, of course, Nanny. My sisters had to quickly hurry their friends on before any of them recognised her as being their gran.

Is it any wonder that we are all fucked up if this is what we are decended from? The rest of the family ain't much better - more of them another day perhaps.

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