Sunday, 18 November 2007


So - I was just glancing round her room (in my mind), at the books next to her. Grandad previously worked for Blackwells so they had a number of mis-printed books with upside down pages. Jeeves and Worcester, gardening books. Poetry books, funnily enough. La-la-la-loved a bit of sentimentality on the quiet. Clearly, she didn’t choose to be as tough as she’d had to be. I really think she was a serial optimist.

One of the books to her side was a medical dictionary. Perfect for her every whim. She’d look up whatever came to mind on a particular day and use the ailment for about a week to get her four sons running round after her whilst she hammily rubbed her chest. She had such terrible angina/acid/dizzy spells/pains... Underneath the books was a pull-down section that held Advocat, brandy, sherry and her other companion - her little jar of gall-stones. She was so proud of those – always waggling them at us. Funny little things.

She was a frequent waggler. She’d waggle her little finger when describing certain sexual experiences/men’s privates or poke you in the back of the neck with her fingers – she particularly liked to pinch the back of your neck really hard whilst crossing the road.

Being young, there was a lot of being on the floor. The motifs on the dreadful carpet were probably bigger than me. It never changed. Her lurid orange 60’s lamp got smaller as I got taller. I used to hide behind the sofa when they’d talk about scary things from the news. Study the pattern in close detail.

The plastic strips covering the under-stair cupboard where there was a small box of a few modest toys. A Mary, Mungo & Midge book. The 50’s tables in the kitchen and the now cool retro cupboards, which smelled of flour and butter. Stale.

The crummy cheap print of the Haywain reminded her of where she came from Everything reminded her of something. She had really very little. Anything she had was for a reason and she’d made it as beautiful as she could, with as little as she could.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've so enjoyed reading this, particulary about the family members and their friends. The textures and smells really bring the era to life. Please continue telling us about their strange relationships with each other..