Cicero said: “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” Tell us about who you are remembering today.
Today I’ll be remembering my grandma. She passed away two years ago.
She was a tiny little German woman. Mother of 8. Aged 92 years. She was living in Germany during the war, and then emigrated to Australia.
I loved my nanna. I just wish I got to see her more often than I did. She lived so far away and we would go for vast amounts of time without seeing her… And then she’d turn up and stay with us for four months or so at a time. She always wanted to escape the colder weather as much as possible, so she’d stay with us for a few months and then head off to another relatives place for a couple of months.
I remember the novelty of nan coming to stay with us was something that, as a kid, I always looked forward to, but then after a couple of weeks the novelty wore off. I loved her so much, but because she was old, everything we did with her became quite a time consuming event. If we wanted to go somewhere, even something as mundane as grocery shopping, it would normally take about an hour or so, but if nan came, it would take even longer because she wanted to look at everything, and then compare different brands and mum would sometimes just crack the shits and make the decision for her. Then just as we were ready to leave and head home, she would turn around and say that she wanted to go and look at a different store, or go looking for something in particular, and you could just see mum a heartbeat away from exploding with rage. This was often the case. Nan would say she wants to go looking for something in particular, and so we’d allocate extra time to go and have a look in some of the shops, and sometimes she wouldn’t find what she wanted, so she’d get upset and then want to go home. As we lived out of town, she had to wait until we finished everything else which resulted in her being in bad, grumpy mood. OR, she would wait until everything is done and we’re on the way home and she’d be grumpy, and then eventually she’d say she wanted to look in a certain shop, or go somewhere in particular, but she didn’t actually say anything to mum at the time, so she missed out.
But those moments were far and few between.
All my memories of my nan involved her ridiculously comfortable bed that we had set up at our place. I shit you not, it was like getting onto a fucking CLOUD!! I remember sitting on it, and it felt like it was just going to swallow you up. Every now and then I’d go into nans room in the morning for a cuddle, and she wouldn’t be there, and I’d think to myself that the bed finally ate her up… but then she’d come back into the room with her cup of chamomile tea and turn on ABC Classical Radio.
The other fondest memories were of her baking. She made the most incredible apple crumble. No recipe, just by memory and touch, and despite other people in the family trying to replicate it, nobody was able to. She just had this magical touch. Whenever she made it, it was just perfection. Served with whipped cream, and I’d always find myself going back for fourth, fifth, sixth helpings.
Hmmm… I wonder if this is where my love for cake really flourished??