Things I didn’t know about my mother (Part Three).

17 07 2012

We went on a nostalgic trip a few years ago, back to where my mothers mother (My Grandmother) used to live – Balham, Cavendish road, a block of flats long since demolished, bringing back memories of her childhood growing up in the area. She told me about her sisters and brothers, and of course herself, and how they were supposed to visit an Auntie and Uncle for Christmas. Before they were due to leave, her mother decided to pop out on an errand. When none of them showed up for the arranged Christmas get together a very concerned uncle went round to the flat to find out what had happened. He found seven children huddled under the kitchen table with no sign of their mother.It transpired that she had decided to go to the pub with a friend and had forgotten to come home again. She also told me about what happened to her during the war. She was evacuated to Wales but missed her mother terribly and couldn’t wait to see her again. Finally it was time to go home and after a long journey from Wales to London the bus finally pulled up on Balham High Street. My mother looked out through the window, and with huge disappointment spotted a friend of her mothers who’d been sent to collect her.’All wrinkly and dressed entirely in black’. She’d clearly never got over the disappointment, but her uncensored recollections of her time growing up offered me a quite shocking insight into a person I’d had, and still have, many fond memories of. In my youth my grandmother and I would spend many a weekend listening to Radio Luxembourg snuggled up beside an open fire, Devonshire toffees scoffed whilst discussing Liz Taylor’s love life over cups of Typhoo tea. Grandmother would always dose off eventually, the opportunity allowing me time to count an ever increasing amount of pennies she’d collected in a huge glass jar – her half choked snores a timely reminder to put them back into the sideboard before she woke up again. At no time did I have any sense that she’d been such a terrible mother.

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