Tomorrow would have been my Gran’s 89th birthday. I always have the feeling that my grandparents all died too young, even though they all lived to be between 74 and 83. And I guess that nowadays, those are not such great ages, even though when they were born that was around the average life expectancy.

Gran really was your stereotypical English grandmother – overweight, permed hair, always thrilled to see you. She was always the grandparent that you wanted to see if you were ill, or had had an accident. I remember her rushing to visit when I broke my arm (see here), even though she couldn’t drive (she failed her test three times, the last one for ‘passing too close to a stationary vehicle) and had to come by train, and despite having to make sure that she left enough frozen plated meals for Grandad before she did so.

Gran was very much a woman of routine. After breakfast – which for her was never anything more than a cup of tea and a read of The Sun – she would wash up and prepare the vegetables for lunch. Then she would amble to the local shops for whatever provisions she needed that day. On returning, she would sit down for a cup of coffee and exactly two biscuits, whilst doing the crossword. Then it would be back into the kitchen to prepare lunch, a proper cooked meal that had to be on the table – cooked or not – for 1pm when Grandad came home from work.

After lunch there was time for another cup of tea before Grandad went back to work and she got on with whatever other chores needed doing that day. She would stop for a cup of tea around 3.30pm but tea would always be ready for 5pm.

The routine rarely varied for six days of the week. There was a slight difference on a Saturday, because Grandad wouldn’t go back to work after lunch, and tea usually had something warm with it, maybe sausages or fish fingers.

This has had two knock on effects upon my life. The first is that, for many years, I couldn’t drink coffee in the afternoon. It just didn’t taste right. And the second is that I don’t mind going shopping for food every day, even if I rarely get to sit down with a cup of milky coffee and two biscuits afterwards.


About Richard

Just your less-than-average married father of one
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2 Responses to Gran

  1. hazel says:

    That just reminded me of my Gran and Grandad! My Grandad died 4 days before my 4th birthday, but I distinctly remember him sat in the armchair in the corner of the living roon – front room was kept for best and visitors and had an awful green, nylon suite in it, with the largest heaviest sofa bed you have ever seen. He would sit in that chair with Goldie the retreiver under it and watch his horse racing. For the short time I knew him, for some reason, anytime I see anything about him on family trees and stuff, I smile and feel all warm inside.

    My gran who was 89 when she died was, in description, the same as yours and a force to be reckoned with. Her and Grandad ran the Eldon Arms in Reading through the war and have a photo in the Reading Museum of the street party on VE day. If my gran fell out with someone she would expect no one else to talk to them either. But she would, as I was reliably informed by my mum, give you her last penny out of her purse if you needed it (and because of her size, it was rather comfortable sitting on her lap!)

    Ahh feel all fuzzy now. 🙂

  2. Karen says:

    And she had cakes for tea every day!! 🙂

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