Not what I was planning

A couple of other blogs prompted this one for today.

It was not what I was planning to write but anyway…

Sue over at Our Quiet Life in Suffolk has just become a Nana for the first time and Rachel over at Eternally 28 wrote about her Nanna and I got to thinking about mine.

Granny D was a bit of a despot and, quite frankly, scary!   She had a hairy chin – I used to hate having to kiss her as it felt like the bristles were taking the top layer of my face off and she smoked like a trooper.   She was my dad’s mum and died when I was 7 so I don’t remember her all that well.  Pretty much what I remember of her is what I have written above.   She was traditionally built (!) but not cuddly, too scary to be cuddly.  I don’t wonder if she was perhaps nicer than I remember because my mother always said how Granny D had made my granddad’s life  utterly miserable!   He died before I was born but was, apparently, a lovely man.  Before he met my grandmother he did move to Canada as a very young man but then the war broke out (WWI), he was injured (he fought with a Canadian mounted regiment) and came back to England after the war to recover from his injuries, met Granny D and that was it.  My dad was their youngest and came when they were both in their forties.

My nan (mum’s mum) was a tiny little thing.   She used to live down the road and around the corner from our house.   That corner was particularly treacherous for nanny because on a windy day for some reason there could be quite a cross-wind and she regularly got blown over.  It was not unusual to answer a knock on the front door from a near neighbour and be told ‘Quick, get your mum or dad, your nan’s been blown over on the corner again’.  Then mum or dad would run down and help her on to our house or home.   Mum and dad used to tell her not to come out on windy days but she wouldn’t listen.  She had given birth to 7 children and a bit of weather wasn’t going to stop her going about her day!  But of course it did if it was windy enough to blow her over!

She stayed with us a lot after our dad died (her husband, my granddad, died when my mum was pregnant with my older brother) to give my mum (her youngest child) some support.  She used to like a cup of cocoa before bed and I used to like mixing it for her.    She also used to like clotted cream spread on bread and butter.   With  a diet like that goodness knows how she was light enough to be blown over on a windy day but she was!

I’m not light enough to get blown over on a windy day, I fear I am more Granny D than Nanny.  But I hope, if I ever get to be a Nanna, that I don’t have Granny D’s hairy chin or scary demeanour!

Anyone willing to share some nanna memories?





8 thoughts on “Not what I was planning

  1. my nan was a horrible old crow. Just a nasty person through and through. She used to look after us sometimes when little, and here you are, example of what I thought of her back then, aged 4 or 5 I scaled over the 6 foot high fence and ran down the road to go to meet my mum coming back from school with my older brother and sister. She ran after me shouting for me to stop and asking where I was going, with me shouting ‘to school’ and legged it away from her as fast as I could. I can remember that too. I was trailing behind her and my granddad one day, both smoked, threw down the finished ciggie, only to turn around and find me puffing away on it. Copying them, I’d picked it up and it was still lit. Also remember doing that. don’t know if I was just really naughty, or it was my nan’s influence on me.
    She died a few years back, I didn’t go to her funeral. I made the flower arrangements, but I didn’t go. She didn’t like me, I wasn’t a fan of hers, and I’m not a hypocrite so I stayed away.

    My Dad’s mum died before I was born, or around that time, not sure. Her name was Ivy. By all accounts a hard working and long suffering woman. I would have liked to have met her. Still kicking myself that I didn’t include Ivy in Violet’s glut of names. That would have been lovely.

    Thank you for this post. It was beautiful. Though I’m still chortling at your nan getting blown around the corner, and her yukky taste in sandwiches! ;o) x


  2. Thank you for the mention.
    I only knew one Grandma, my mums mum. We would go by bus with mum to visit her once a week for an hour or so in school holidays and she came to us on Christmas day and that was it, . She was really old fashioned but really we never knew her at all.
    My Dad’s mum died when I was just a few months old, she loved living on a farm, cooking, milking cows, gardening. I think I would have loved her. My grandad gave up the farm after she died. Really sad.


  3. I loved both my Nanna’s. My Dad’s mum was what I call a ‘traditional’ Nanan. White hair, pinny, church going, lovely lady. We would go for tea every Saturday and she would make jam tarts or buns with our initials on. If it was raining she would let us do handstands in the house and play two ball on the walls – used to drive my Mum mad because of course when we got home we wanted to carry on and there was no way Mum would stand for that.

    My Mum’s mum was more of a ‘modern’ Nanna. Her and Grandad went out most Saturdays to the pub for a drink, abroad for holidays, had us and our cousins for sleepovers where we played cards (for money), were allowed to drink a bit of guinness and to stay up late watching Frankenstein or Dracula.

    I have good memories of them both and feel lucky they were so different from each other. xx


  4. I didn’t see either of my Grandmas very much because my Dad was in the army so we were usually miles and miles away and my parents couldn’t drive. I much preferred my mum’s mum who was known as Grandma. I remember once going to stay with her and my Grandad for 3 weeks during the summer holidays which was great fun. My Dad’s mum was referred to as ‘ Grandma ‘ surname’. She was 5′ tall and as far around, with huge boobs and dyed orange hair. She wasn’t very nice, even on the rare occasions that we saw her. My grandad died when my dad was a teenager, and she remarried , to a really lovely man. How either he, or my Grandad got mixed up with her I will never know.


    1. Isn’t it funny the physical characteristics we remember – I loved your description of ‘5’ tall and as far around, with huge boobs and dyed orange hair’! I can’t think of Granny D without remembering her hairy chin!


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