Grandma

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Published July 22, 2019 by helentastic67

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Oh! Going to write about something a bit different today, despite the backlog, I’ve got to catch up on.

Was having a conversation with my Lady Girl-Friday earlier. She’s one of my carers that is often mistaken as my daughter.

We were discussing travel and the mentality of when you travel. I should point out she has travelled to New Zealand on a typical ‘young-person’ travel holiday and then with her Oma (Dutch for Grandmother) to Holland for a slightly longer period of time.

My only real overseas holiday dates back to (wait for it) 1994, with my first serious boyfriend (I will circle back to this later) Needless to say, I don’t mention him in current time so, plot-spoiler, it didn’t end well. Most of the three months, I went to the UK for a visit with a whole week in Europe (two days in Paris, two days in Rome and two days in Florence).

So, it’s safe to say our experiences were very different. However, I made the point that when you travel, it’s great to be somewhere different, see different things, places, cultures, languages and the food. Oh my God the food.

But, if you are in one place for a few weeks, you will likely go out and find a café. You will also keep going back to that café because you can quickly get to be known as a regular. If you are trying to not spend too much money, it’s not a huge expense, it gets you out of the ‘house’. I spent my first month staying in a place about an hour from London while the boyfriend waited for his ‘interest payment’ to come through so he had his spending money. So, even on a holiday, we crave a place that makes us feel like home.

 

Heritage – Part 2

Published May 13, 2019 by helentastic67

Heritage Part 2

The other differences in my grandparents was this. When visiting my Anglo-Saxon grandparents, we would go out to the “Workshop” to visit my granddad in his office where he ran his Construction company, he started it way back in the mid-sixties.

I recall when I was young, going into his office and playing with his letter opener. It was a sword in its own scabbard. (Something he picked up on a holiday overseas) These grandparents were travelers. My father worked for my grandfather.

When we visited them at home, I recall getting out of the car and racing ahead, we would go through the garage, between the two cars there, inside the door that took us inside and walked down into the kitchen. Some days the smell of Linseed oil and Turps would greet us. Going down to the kitchen/dinning room and Nanna would be at the dinning room table with her white china and oils spread out around her. She was a woman of creative habits.

Set days, she would bake, others she would play nine holes of golf, others go to her fine bone china painting group or do her afternoon of painting at home or sewing.

If my grandfathers purple (aubergine) Datsun was in the garage, it meant he was home. We would check for him in his office and he would hug us and let us stand on his feet, while he walked us around some. (until we got too big).

In comparison, my granddad was the affectionate one, my Nanna was very grumpy and she wasn’t even very old. My Nanna was riddled with cancer. On one visit (I might have been six?) I let myself in the garage door and because mum had insisted, we knock, Nanna had, had some surgery to remove lumps of cancer from the inside of her legs (one thigh, one calf). In case she was resting, I knocked, she came down and let us in and as she walked ahead of me towards the living room area down the hallway, light filtered down, her thin cotton skin rather see through with the light coming from the windows down into the hallway. I would clearly see the huge chunks taken out of her legs. They were cut out back to the bone. I recall thinking that if they were both the same part of her legs, you could kick a soccer ball down the hall and it would pass straight through.

There are several things about this memory, 1) I was not into soccer. 2) They really weren’t big enough for a soccer ball and 3) Is this wrong? Or can I be forgiven because I was only a child? Note the preference in those three.

Cancer was a theme with this Nanna. She eventually had a brain tumour and the last time I recall seeing her, mum was in the kitchen doing dishes looking out the window towards the sink and I asked where Nanna was? I was told to go sit with her in the lounge.

She was wearing her dressing gown sitting on the couch. I sat and asked her if I could get her anything? She did want something, but couldn’t think what it was called. I asked her what colour it was? Trying to help her a little, turning it into a game. I don’t know if I knew at the time how serious it was, but I handled her gently, trying to help her.

She got more and more grumpy and frustrated, eventually she got up and I followed her to the fridge in the kitchen. She opened the door, then her crisper and pulled out an orange. Grrr.

You can appreciate her frustration, right?

She passed away at only fifty-eight.

More to write, just hit pause.

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