I always seem to inherit odd things from people – I’ve never been one for taking jewellery, which seems to be the ‘normal’ thing for girls.
I loved my uncle so much, but he was a bit of an odd one occasionally, and only got worse as he got older (which is understandable). We found all sorts of meticulous notes in the battery compartment in remotes (to say when they were last changed) or in the clocks (to say when they were last serviced) etc etc.
Anyway, along with Gemma, a battered old leather-effect pouffe, a crystal sweet bowl, a chest of drawers and a mantel clock I seemed to ‘inherit’ about 10 bars of Simple soap, 5 jars of Cadbury’s drinking chocolate and a vacuum cleaner.
Today, I opened up one of the packs of replacement bags for the vacuum cleaner…and found codes written on each one meticulously by my uncle in his neat script.
But what does it mean?!?!?
You can see it today on their front page, but here it is anyway
On Tuesday, I walked with The Girl from the station to my nan’s house for her funeral. It was the first time we had gone there together by public transport, and the walk from the station round ‘the back way’ is rather convoluted down alleys and odd streets.
The Girl was wondering how I remembered the way, and I became rather poignant when I told her that I’d been making that journey on and off since I was tiny and I suddenly realised that it was a journey I probably would never make again.
I then told her some other childhood stories of the area, including that the post box outside my nan’s also held familial memories. Me and my two cousins always got told off for climbing on it with the local kids, as it was a position of authority to be able to sit, and (even better) stand on top of it. And what’s more, my mum and her brother and sister had done exactly the same thing!
TG: How did you get up there?
Me: Duh! We climbed onto it – it was a knack
TG: And you got told off if you got caught
Me: Yeah, and that always happened as it was outside nan’s living room window. it stupid of us all really now I think about it – we must’ve liked to live dangerously
TG: And did you get punished?
Me: Well, we were shouted at and sometimes called in
TG: And did they tweak your ear?
Me: What?! Who?!
TG: The grown-ups, when they caught you. Did they tweak your ear and drag you back inside?
Me: *look of disdain* I did NOT grow up in a Beano comic!!!!
*The Girl collapses into laughter*
I was sitting down with The Girl, catching up on the week’s Got To Dance. The Man goes to the pub every Saturday afternoon, and we often spend that time watching stuff he’d shout about if he was here because we ALL know that it’s really awful and that we shouldn’t be watching it. But hey, I can’t watch gritty Scandiwegian dramas all the time, can I?
Anyway, she suddenlt said “how do they do that? I can’t even touch my toes!” this, from my 13 year old, skinny-minnie, gangly-limbed daughter.
“You can’t touch your toes?!” I asked, “What do you mean you can’t touch your toes? you’re 13! you’re meant to be at your most flexible! Even *I* can touch my toes no problem”
“Go on then!” she told me. so I immediately stood up, bent down, leg’s straight and touched my toes straight away. Easy-peasy!
“Oh My GOD!” she screamed “How did you DO that? At YOUR age? What kind of sorcery IS that?”
OK, so she was impressed – I don’t blame her, I AM over 40, but “At YOUR age?” Pah!
As I rose from my seat on the Victoria Line this morning at Highbury & Islington, I closed the cover of my Kindle, and a scratchcard that I had shoved into my bag for safe-keeping fell from the cover where it had become jammed.
I stooped to pick it up, when glancing down, my commute neighbour kissed her teeth and quite audibly announced “SINNER!!”.
I assumed that she was referring to my obviously disgusting gambling ‘habit’, so I looked her straight in the eye, gave her a massive grin and said “Oh hunny, believe me, I sin a HELL of a lot more than THIS!!”
As I moved towards the door with my fellow alighters, i couldn’t quite work out whether the comical expression on her face was horror, disgust or shock that I had challnged her ideals
Whichever it was, it was well worth it!
While clearing my nan’s house today, I came across some old pics.
It’s amazing how similar me, my mum and The Girl looked at the same age. This is the three of us at 5
I’m late to the game, but I saw this earlier today and just had to share it…the last section is hilarious!
As you probably know, in September I started going to a Creative Writing course at City Lit, which I enjoyed so much that I have signed up for a second term that started last week.
The tutor from last term happened to mention a flash fiction website called Paragraph Planet. It is unpaid, features one story each day and will take submissions about anything – the only guidelines are that it has to be exactly 75 words long.
I decided to take the plunge last week and make a submission – during my first term I realised that flash fiction is kind of my ‘thing’. Perhaps usually more than 75 words though! However, I was very pleasantly surprised when my first submission was accepted, and it is actually today’s story!
I have already written a couple more that I may submit – I have found that my judgement of 75 words is uncanny. Twice I have written exactly 75 words in my first draft!
I may never be published again, but today I can feel proud of myself
For about 17 years, my nan’s had this mug.
Me and my two cousins have always laughed about it. We know nobody called Gemma. We have never known anyone called Gemma. We are pretty sure that my nan has never known anyone called Gemma. We have never known where / why the mug came into the house.
When we asked my nan, she was always a bit coy, and tried to make out it was a way bigger mystery than it was. Things like, “That’s for me to know”. “That’s the big family secret.” and once I remember, “You’ll find out when I die.”
My uncle once told me and my cousin that Gemma was in fact my nan’s favourite grandchild, oh no, oops, pretend we never heard that…
On Wednesday, I asked my nan whether she’d heard from Gemma since she’d been ill. “Yeah, she was here last week”, my nan said.
I just drank from Gemma’s mug and smiled I might ask my mum if I can have it now.