My Nanna

I had four grandparents – that’s pretty much the average number for grandparents I believe. One of my grandparents died before I was ever born though. My Dad’s Dad. I have never met him. Naturally, I have always wondered what he was like. I would like to meet him one day.

nan.jpgI remember visiting my Dad’s Mum when we were little. There were things in that house I never saw anywhere else. My Nanna loved Bingo. In fact most of her presents to us, she won at Bingo sessions. My Uncle and Nanna both loved “the Pools”, betting on a horse, “Spot-the-Ball”. That’s what they seemed to talk about. We would tell them about our swimming and what we enjoyed at school. My parents often asked us to take some of our schoolwork to show Nanna. We told Nanna about our friends and the games we liked to play. Nanna and my uncle would play card games with us.

me and my sisters (2).jpgMy parents wanted us to dress smartly to visit Nanna. We always wore pretty dresses. My parents expected us to behave impeccably when we visited Nanna (and also Grandad and Granny – my mum’s parents). Mum trained us that when Nanna offered us a biscuit, we could take one. If she pushed us, then we were allowed take a second biscuit. But we were never to take a third! I have remembered that my whole life!!! Everywhere I go…I never take a third when offered. Just one, or two if I am pushed.

I remember Nanna sitting in her armchair in the back parlour smoking one cigarette after another while we were there. The air in the room was smoky blue grey. I found myself holding my breath and making excuses to go out into the garden to breathe some fresh air.

Nanna was small and thin. I remember her rattly cough and the way she wheezed when she breathed. I was still a little girl when she was hospitalized with lung cancer. I don’t think I realized at the time that she had lung cancer. It was later that my parents told me what had caused her decline in health.

I remember us all going to visit her. We took flowers and grapes and some crossword puzzles and books for her. She looked so tiny sitting there in bed.

I was fascinated by the hospital. Nanna produced a box of sweets. They were York Fruits, I have never wanted to try one since! I did not like them at all!

I remember Nanna’s funeral. I remember my uncles and aunts and cousins and all of my siblings being there. I remember it being quite eventful.

I think it’s kind of sad that the main things I remember about Nanna was her smoking, her yellow fingertips, her love of Bingo and having a flutter with some sort of gambling. It’s hard not to compare Nanna with Granny. Granny was very active. She baked, she had an allotment where she grew vegetables that she cooked with, she worked with local organizations. And then there was my Grandad. He was very active, especially mentally. A life-long student. It was only after he died that we discovered that he was a very popular vlogger (yes a vlogger!), with a huge following.

window cleanerMy Dadda…when he was a young man, he got involved in gambling and he ended up in a huge amount of debt. But my Dadda changed. He fought to change his habits. By the time I was born my Dadda had made many changes. There was never a cigarette in our family home. He never gambled, not in any form at all. He had to work hard to pay off his debt at the same time caring for so many children. But he was determined to look after us, and train us to love working hard and lead a healthy active life.

I would have loved to have seen my Nanna healthy and well. My mum (who was a nurse) happened to be with my Nanna that last night. She held her hand and spoke softly to her those last few hours. I always remembered how lovely my mum was, when I later worked in palliative care with terminally ill patients. The memories of seeing what my Nanna went through have stayed with me for life.

Smoke rising from a cigarette in an ashtrayIt makes me so sad that people smoke cigarettes and use other forms of tobacco. How much suffering they have brought to individuals and their families. How much stress and anguish gambling has brought to individuals and families!

I am glad that my parents were very mindful of the example they were setting for us. Their hard-working, healthy, wholesome examples and their lovely personalities and qualities have made a huge impression on all of us. They taught us to love life, to dress well, to show kindness. They taught us to be affectionate with all our family and to love them. They helped us develop a sense of dignity and pride in being clean and tidy and telling people about the wonderful things we were learning. They taught us how to enjoy life with gusto!

futire.jpgI remember telling my Nanna that I had been reading the Bible. (I read it for the first time when I was five years of age – from start to finish.) I told her that our Creator is going to make this earth a paradise and that we will all live forever in peace with no wars, crimes or disease. I also told her there will be no cigarettes in the paradise.

I would love to think that when she wakes up, there will be lots of wonderful things to share with her, so much so that she will never think about Bingo or betting on sports ever again! Maybe instead we will play sports together. It would be amazing to see her running round a park, her lungs healthy and strong.

I would love to see all my grandparents again, full or life, full of energy – no wrinkles, no aches and pains. Until then they are safe in my Creator’s memory. And they live on in our minds and hearts.


This was my response to the writing prompt from Sarah Elizabeth Moore:

Falling In Love In The Fall

fall.jpgI won’t see Jack this weekend 😦 However, I will see him next weekend! Which will be strange, because I will be with him the nights the clocks go back. I met Goldfinch two years ago on the last Saturday of October, the night the clocks go went back an hour. Aaaaah sigh! So many memories of that thrilling night when he walked in! And it was thrilling! I don’t think I am ever going to forget it!

Still finding it strange that I love two men. I am trying to let it resolve itself naturally, just as Goldfinch said would happen. I am falling in love with Jack more and more every day. I always loved him, but now I am falling in love him – which is different, as many of you will no doubt agree.

It is time for the weekly SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post in response to the questions from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind.

I have chosen to skip a couple of questions from the list this week (the answer was basically a big NO to both of them) and concentrate on the questions for which I had something more interesting to offer.

So you can see the full list of questions in Melanie’s original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post below:


Why do we have such trouble telling our loved ones that we love them?  Do you have that kind of communication issue with your loved ones?

ralph and annieOh I have no issues with declaring my love! Nor my appreciation. I try to make sure everyone in my life, family, friends, colleagues know that I have fond feelings for them, and I tell them specifically what I appreciate about them.

In fact, if I am having difficulty warming to someone, I ask myself what are the positive qualities this person has, and then when I am next with them, I try to voice that.

If there’s one thing I want to give to everyone in my life – it is love. Telling them I love them is only a small part of that. I don’t understand why anyone would hold back. Love is good, really good! Life without love is just an empty existence.

pearl and annieThere are people who are desperately deprived of love. I think we should take every opportunity to mark our speech and behaviour, especially the way we treat others, with love. Saying the words, “I love you!” or “You mean the world to me!” or “What on earth would I do without you?”…or a million other ways of saying it, is important.

Humans thrive on love! It is an area we should never hold back in!

Do you donate to charities?  Of your time, do you feel money is the only true gift, or other? 

construction clothesSince I stepped foot on a construction site at the age of sixteen, volunteering for charities has been at the center of my life.

I have always worked part-time to earn my bread and butter and have shopped for clothes in charity shops and kept my needs and wants to the minimum, in order to give most of my time to charities.

For five years I was a full-time international volunteer. I did not receive any wages at all during that time. However, other people were generous towards us, giving us something towards our travel costs, or to buy winter clothing. As volunteers we tried to give whatever money we had left back to the charities we were working for (they provided us with basic accomodation and meals).

roofersThere are lots and lots of charities out there. I think if anyone is asking for contributions, it is wise to ask about their charity registration, unless it is a charity you know are legitimate.

Personally, I wouldn’t give money to just any charity. I would have to agree with the cause, trust that the charity use their donations properly and that they are not political or military. (I respect that governments can do whatever they want with our taxes.) As some of the assignments my colleagues and I have been sent on is to go into areas where military conflicts and political fighting have wreaked havoc and caused unimaginable damage and heartbreak – I would be careful to avoid funding those who are often contributing to the mess we go in to help to fix.

projectsBecause of the effects of the head injuries I received the night I was attacked, I can’t be involved in construction projects currently, nor can I be sent abroad. So instead I work on non-construction roles in connection with community projects closer to where I live and I help with administration tasks, including all the planning that is required for projects. I miss the kind of assignments I used to be involved with.

at work.jpgJack has two assignments overseas in the new year. He has been involved in a huge local project here for the past few months but that is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. That’s why he has been able to see so much of me. But al that will change once this project is over. He could be sent anywhere in the world for any length of time. The future for Jack and I is slightly complicated. So I will have to get used to him being abroad for weeks at a time 😦 That will be hard!


This week please share a photo or image of what ‘harvest’ and “Autumn” mean to you!

spiffing.jpgI think “harvest” is an American thing. Is it something to do with “Thanksgiving”? But we do certainly have Autumn here in England! I will be honest with you, I love spring and summer, so I am not exactly jumping for joy when autumn creeps in. But just for you Melanie, I will try to think positively about autumn!

What does it mean to me? Here are a few things that come to mind:

  • walking in the woods
  • snuggling up on the sofa
  • sipping hot chocolate or gingerbread lattes
  • apple and cinnamon cake, pie or crumble
  • rainy days, grey skies
  • boots and rain-coats
  • butternut squash soup
  • darker evenings
  • secret rendezvous in the countryside

Well…I hope I got into the spirit of autumn! Here is more to set the scene for falling in love with fall and during the fall!