When we found out that my Nan’s middle name was Agnes as kids we thought it was soooo funny. We used to call her ‘Ag the bag the silly old Hag’ and she would put her false teeth half out of her mouth and say in a silly voice ‘yeth that’th me!’
My Nan taught us to play cards when we’d stay over at their place. First it was snap, then Old Maid, then ‘Strip Jack Naked’ (which we thought was sooo rude!) and finally poker using one and two cent pieces. I don’t ever remember who won, but I remember the funny old sets of cards she had and how I liked the pictures on the back more than playing the game. That is probably why I can’t remember the rules of anything but Snap these days.
My Nan could cook. My Mum cooked the boring stuff but my Nan really cooked.. and baked. When my Mum started work when I was in about grade one, my Nan started the ‘care packages’ of baked goods. There was no way her grandchildren were going off to school without home cooked biscuits in their lunch box. Or coming home to supermarket food when she could bake us cakes! If my mother wanted to be a ‘modern woman’ and work that was fine but my Nan would make sure us kids still got the proper baked goods!
My Nan made pasties…. No one makes pasties like my Nan. My Mum and my Aunt try but they are not the same. I remember helping Nan and Pa mince the meat in the old hand mincer and I remember eating too much leftover pastry and feeling really unwell (read back a few months and you will learn I still haven’t learnt that lesson about raw pastry!)
I remember eating tinned spaghetti on toast one night while staying over and them spewing it all over my bed. I remember being upset cause my Nan had to change my favorite sheets with a freaky retro zebra and giraffe pattern on them. But then years later when I saw those exact same sheets again I realised they are just lines and geometric patterns and not giraffes and zebras at all… but back then I really thought they were.
I remember sitting in the car parked out front of the shops in Church street, waiting for my Mum to finish the last of the grocery shopping and asking My Nan to ‘tell me about those people’. She would start a running commentary, making up voices for the different people and the conversations they were having. It was always slightly rude or taboo things they were speaking about.. or so I thought way back then.
I remember one afternoon cracking it at my Mum and storming off to my room. She tried to coax me out and I screamed at her ‘I am not coming out, I only love my Nan’ and with that my Nan walked in the back door to rescue me from my mean mother. (and I wonder why Zoe starts with the ‘I want my Daddy’ when I won’t do exactly as she wants!?!)
I remember my nan used to make butter curls for any special occasion meal. I always wanted to poke them with my fingers but I never did.
I remember one night at dinner when I told my brother he was a ‘wanker’ and my Nan asked ‘what’s a wanker?’ looking puzzled. My mum quietly explained… and my Nan looked up and said ‘Oh yeah stop being a wanker!’
My Nan died this afternoon after a long time slowly loosing her mind and her body. Finally my pa came to pick her up and take her home.