A few weeks ago my entire family spent two days sorting and clearing my granny’s house. It was absolutely rammed full of almost everything my granny had ever owned. That is not even an exaggeration.
It was quite a strange weekend. We had a lot of fun (we always do when we get together), and we found some absolutely amazing things. My granny was (and probably still is if she thought about it) a bit of a glamour puss. She had some truly amazing dresses, and some of them will be worn again by myself and my cousin.
If we stopped to think about it, the reality of what we were doing and why made us sad. But then we’d find a book about sex from the 1950s and we’d fall about laughing. True story.
What we were doing, of course, was emptying a home of its memories, its personality, my granny. She had lived there for 39 years, 19 of them on her own since my grandpa died. I have never (until now) known her to live anywhere else.
So many of my childhood memories were made there. We used to go every Sunday for a roast dinner. We’d arrive and she’d be in the kitchen (no one was ever allowed in to help) wearing her apron. My grandpa would be on sherry duty before carving the meat. My granny’s yorkshire pudding was to die for, and because she was a proper yorkshire lass we always had it before the main meal.
After lunch we’d play out on the street on our bikes, or we’d go for a walk down to the park. Then it was back to granny’s and grandpa’s house for tea – sandwiches, cakes and the muppet show. We’d leave to go home to bed armed with a bag of crisps and a tube of smarties each. They did not last the half hour journey home.
Those memories don’t go just because the house is empty.
My granny’s apron now hangs in my kitchen, just waiting for the M’s and me to do some cooking.
The tray my granny used to carry tea on now takes my breakfast to the dining room.
Somehow having a little piece of my granny’s home in mine makes it feel a bit more homely. If you know what I mean.