Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Year On from a Long Week

I have fifteen posts with a Draft status. Some of them are duplicates, some of them are notes, some of them are only for me, and some are simply unfinished.

My Nan died a year ago yesterday (09/08/07), and it is her that this post discusses. Originally dated 23/08/07, I was writing it some two days after her funeral. I can remember starting it. I cannot remember why I did not finish it.

I can also remember that it was a very intense week, that week last year. Perhaps this is why this random day in the middle of August helps to split the year up for me and acts as a time of reflection. Or perhaps there's some great cosmic energy that leads me to reflect in August, as I seemed to spend a lot of that month last year in contemplative reflection.

Let's leave that reflection there for now. This post is not about me. It is about my Nanny.


So, that's my Nanny in with my Grandad. For the easily confused, the gravestone hasn't been added to yet.

It was slightly strange how just as we arrived at the church (two limos following the hearse) and got out, the rain absolutely began bucketing down. Mum said, "Mum, I thought you'd have been looking down on us and given us nice weather."
Several people said it was a shame. It occurred to me to ponder saying at the time something about that the sky was crying. I later settled on pointing out that a popular expression for such things was that the heavens had opened, so this was also perhaps a good sign.

They are the closest people to me ever to have died, my Nanny and Grandad.

Having lived further away for several years, I think it has lessened the impact somewhat, though.

It hit my sister just before the start of the service. Next-door-but-one neighbour (who had agreed to sort out the teas for the wake) had hopped around to the front to ask, "Are you ok, Monkfish's Mum? Are you ok, Monkfish's sister?" - at which point it hit my sister. Ironically, she'd been the one most telling my Mum that she should try to be strong and not cry too much during the day.

My sister says that her greatest recollection of our Nan is just of her laughing. Not at anything in particular, just in general.

I guess I can see that too, and a few random old tales of having fun.

At 84, my Nan was the oldest of seven. They used to have to sleep two to a bed. She remembers asking her Mum when she was young whether she could have a dolly. "You don't need a dolly, you've got the real thing to look after," she was told.

During the war, against her mother's wishes, she jumped at the chance to sign up and help out. She was stationed around the country as a cook. She loved it.

We used to see Nanny and Grandad every Saturday. We'd get there in the morning, have lunch, then somewhere between just Mum and Dad and all of us would go to Asda to do the shopping.
One of the best bits was after the meal! :) When it came to... running into the cupboard to search out what tasty yummy things were in there today! :)
Hmm, I can remember often a packet of Mr. Kipling Vienese Whirls would be found :)

But but but it was even better when their old friend who used to make cakes had given them something! Cor, some of them were absolutely delicious :)

After my Grandad died, my Nan had a fall once where it took her several hours to be able to make it to the phone. After that, my Mum was able to convince her to move. My Grandad's family had lived there for more than a century - he was born in that house. When it came up for sale, my Nan and Grandad were able to buy it with the help of a loan of a hundred pounds from a well-to-do friend.


It was a curious place to have left it, but half-way through that paragraph is all I had written. My Nan moved into a bungalow around the corner from my parents, my sister buying a portion at the same time. I don't think they ever told Nanny how much it cost. My sister lives there now. She has the concrete frog that my grandparents used to have in their garden in hers still.

It is bizarre, the memories that make us smile :) I remember sitting on that frog as though I were riding it. I remember walking around the fields out the back of their house; I remember going for bike rides when I got to stay there for a few days on holidays; I remember my Grandad always used the outside toilet, even although they had had one inside since my Mum was a girl; I remember playing upstairs with a box of old jewellery - once worn, a ring gave its wearer magical powers; I remember playing Snakes & Ladders; I remember... so many happy memories, and I am glad that this post helped focus my thoughts to such places :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Shoe Inflation

You know, I remember that this time last year, I had three shoes.

Well, not three shoes, three pairs of shoes. I can remember this because I remember feeling pretty chuffed when I bought that third pair, because they were in a style I hadn't worn before, and I remember I bought them when I'd gone to buy furniture, and came home with a new coat and a pair of shoes ;) It's a pretty common confusion. Furniture. Shoes. See? I mean, they both... often... involve legs... *cough*

In fact, I even was so excited that I even blogged about it at the time :)

As I looked at the line of shoes under my bed the other day, it kinda struck me that things have moved on a bit since then.

I now have eight pairs of shoes. Eight pairs!! Good grief, what am I doing with all these shoes!? :) I'm pretty sure I still have just the two feet ;) And even more bizarrely, I'm also pretty sure I've worn all of them at some point in the last month.

For the easily confused, I don't mean at the same time ;)

Whatever happened to "work" and "not work" ?