I went through a box of Nan’s old photos today. Oh God. It’s shocking now to see how awful her home actually was. The curtains in the bay window where we had lunch and tea were horrific. Thick, dull, ochre nylon. Really thick, no pattern. The sofas and chairs seemed to live forever from photo to photo. Their awful stretch-nylon covers came and went. Presumably there wasn’t much choice in how they looked. In fact, the images spell out poverty more than I’d ever realised. What a dull grey place she lived in. No wonder she dressed up and had a drink and a hoolie most days. Made the colour, added the sprinkles in her head. But it worked. It’s how I remember it all. I’ve said previously that she fascinated me. Her colourful personality, language, her wit, her constantly entertaining personality and daily adventures were compelling. I’d hear amusing stories about her from other people. To me, she was exotic, colourful, inventive and inspirational. I thought she was so glamorous. Even the smell of make-up and alcohol seemed fabulous to me. I wanted to be just as interesting and glamorous as her when I grew up. A beautiful creature - gaudy and arresting.
Was it Quentin Crisp who talked about a bag lady that used to get dressed up every evening behind Harrods in Knightsbridge before spending the rest of the night ransacking the bins? When asked what she was doing, she stated that a lady should always dress for dinner. Of course.
I won’t slap on a neat summing-up ending here. I know I share her flights of fantasy and enjoy kitsch, trinkets and colourful people, it’s not rocket science.
I’ll do a big old waffle about fabric next time.
Night night. Nanna loves ya.