My Grandmother 1 (Nuisance Callers)

My grandmother was… difficult. She truly was an individual. This is the first of some memories of her.

My grandfather (See ‘My grandfather’s books’ ) died when I was two, so for almost all the time I knew my grandmother she lived on her own; always just over the road from us, in bungalows.

She had an infallible way of dealing with callers at the door. (She never had a telephone.) No matter who it was: political canvassers, salesmen, Jehovah’s Witnesses- she would say “No thank you, I read my Bible” and shut the door in their faces. I haven’t yet summoned up the courage to follow her example.

Of course, like all good stories, this isn’t completely true. I have exaggerated.She did open the door to the milkman. One hot day, when she must have been in her seventies, she was just in her petticoat.

“Never mind me, you’ll see better on the beach,” she told him. (She was a Brighton girl.)

“A lot worse, dear,” he said chivalrously.


My mother and my grandmother, 1970s.


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