I am very lucky to have had my Granny until I am almost forty years old. Lucky because she was a wonderful grandmother and not everyone has their grandmother so long. Lucky because it has been a great joy to have my children know her and they are old enough now to always remember her. I also feel lucky because I have known her as an adult. I have grown up enough to realise that Granny didn’t come into existence when I was born, she didn’t always have grey hair. She had quite an extraordinary life.
I love looking at photos from when she was young. So beautiful, and while I know that the war was far from glamourous in reality, it is hard not to think of her involvement with Winston Churchill, MI6 and the Enigma machine and not imagine it to be glorious like an episode of Poirot, complete with whirlwind romance with a handsome Australian. Then, coming all the way to the other side of the world to start a new life. It must have been hard and shows how strong she was.
I know that she and Bamma did a good job of raising their children because of who they are and the children they have raised – a family to be proud of and I know that she was. Granny said that if she had known I would be her only grand-daughter, she would have spoilt me more. She spoilt me plenty and I loved going to their house in St Ives. So much so that I ran away from home when I was very young and walked several kilometers to Granny’s.
I loved the plum tree out the front, the flocked wallpaper down the hall, reading Up the Garden Path and Peter Pan in the spare bedroom, squeezing the bath pearls, the Lladro figurines I was careful not to touch and, my favourite activity, trying on Granny’s jewellery. Everything was beautiful at Granny’s and smelt so good too. If Granny gave me a tissue from her handbag it would smell lovely like her. I had little jewellery bags that she gave me and they smelt like Granny for years.
The food was always good at Granny’s too, chicken casserole with almonds, hazelnut crescents and my Christmas was all about mince pies, Quality Streets on a little plastic tree and Granny’s Christmas Cake. I only liked the marzipan and icing as a child but now I love it all and am thrilled to have Granny’s recipe and will make it every year and think of her. My children loved visiting Granny and Bamma for the food too. Granny always had special things for the kids. I was thrilled when Jossie was born so that Granny would have a great granddaughter and she had plenty of girls in the end. You could tell from all the photos around her house that she loved her family as we loved her. It was wonderful for her to spend her last years living with family, being so well cared for, and where we could come and spend time with her. My favourite photo was taken last Christmas with Bethany sitting on Granny’s knee, each looking at the other, so happy. Goodbye Granny, we love you very much.