Yes today is mother’s day, but it’s not always mum’s who love you unconditionally and guide your upbringing, grandmothers can too. This will be our first mother’s day without my nana, so I thought I would share with you what an amazing person she was and the memories of her that I have!
This is my nana and I July 1991, so I would have been 5 and she would have been 75, not at all that she looks 75 in this picture, my nana never looked her age! My nana was such a strong, independent woman, she loved me for me and believed in me no matter what! Even in school when I didn’t do so well she always said as long as I had tried my best that was all that mattered and that she would help me to get better in areas where I struggled. I will always remember the summer between me leaving primary school and starting secondary school, we went over and over my times tables, they were just something I could never grasp, I don’t know why, but I’ll tell you by the end of that summer I could rhyme off my times tables with ease! My nana had preserved with such great patience, she never once told me off or shouted at me when I made mistakes.
I cant completely remember why but I also remember standing in the kitchen on a Friday after school and she drew a circle on my back, she kept going round and round telling me that I could do my GCSE’s, I would try my best and my best would be enough, to have faith in myself and that she believed in me no matter what and to always remember this circle on my back when I ever doubted myself!
Ever since I was a baby we went over to my nana’s every Sunday, this was the norm for me all my life. I loved going over to my nana and papa’s in the dee, seeing my cousins, spending time with my nana and sneaking out in my ‘sunday best’ to be with my papa in the garden, green house or garage. I always had to sneak out and not let nana see me because I she would tell me off for going somewhere I could get my best Sunday dress dirty.
I loved the days that I was over in my ‘normal’ clothes, no fear of getting dirty I could play over in my nana’s make her toast and tea (extra hot and in her black cup), this wasn’t until I was older, nana was so protective over us all and worried encase we would get hurt. We would have cleaned up together, went to the shops, Bow Bells, she taught me how to play bowls, she would let me bake and paint her nails, everything really a little girl loved to do!
One of my nana’s hobbies and passions would have been bowling, like I said she taught me how to play and we would have gone and watched her play, she was so good! I was kind of rubbish (sport really isn’t my thing) but it was something my brother picked up well. She was even that good that she went to the Common Wealth Games in Australia and played for the Irish team, she got to meet Queen Elizabeth then and I remember seeing the picture of her with her prize and she kept the garland she received, we always wanted to play with it but it was just too precious, yet she would always let us hold it and touch it.
I remember her working in my great uncle’s bakery in Bangor, down central avenue, we would call in after the market on a Wednesday with my mum and she always gave us a free Chelsea bun! She would have brought home treats for my papa and I when I was over, cream buns that were not to be taken from the fridge until we had eaten properly, but papa always sneaked one out and we shared it!
I loved my nana’s stew, and I really wish I had got the recipe off her! It wasn’t really your typical stew it was really watery, kind of clear potato and onion soup with bits of stewing steak in it. I’m sure it doesn’t sound the nicest but I loved it and no one can make it like she did! We used to always joke my nana would have cremated or over cooked things lol the toast was always well done, aka burnt, her steak a few times would have left massive burn marks on the pots and the fresh broccoli was cooked within an inch of its life and was like mush (I have to say I love fresh broccoli cooked like this!)
My nana would have gone every week to ‘May Moore’s’, a local hairdresser who was married to her cousin, to get her hair done, she was so proud of how she looked and her hair always had to be perfect! She would have gone for a perm and I think she must have been talked into a rinse the odd time, as there was times nana’s hair would have been a bit blue or purple but we weren’t to mention it as she wasn’t too happy! 🙂 I remember nana would have gone out if there was the slightest bit of wind or rain with this like plastic mac like hat thing that tied under her chin to protect her hair, I actually think when I was younger I would have gone out dressed up in one too with her!
Nana was quite small so always sat on a cushion or two on the road, she was well from the age I can remember a bit of well (I’ll have to whisper this) a crazy driver. :s oh the parking lol sometimes I think she would just abandon the car, and would always say it’s ok dear, people know who I am, it’s fine, they can drive around me. It’s true my nana was born and bred in Donaghadee and everyone did know her. It was funny because she would never parallel park, she hated it, so never did it, so we could have driven around and around the block about 6 times before she would find a space!
I loved going down into Donaghadee with my nana to do the shopping or call in to help out her friends. Everyone knew her and would have stopped to talk, she was so proud to tell people who I was and when asked was I Billy or Jimmy’s the smiles and stories people would have when she said Billy’s, my dad was a bit of a terror as a child!
My nana was another inspirational woman I had in my life and I have inherited a lot from her, the slightly fiery temper, my sense of style and independence and she alongside my parents and other grandparents taught me and brought me up to be the person I am today, I morals I have and how I treat others. I was so lucky to have had in her my life for so long and to have been given so much love and support, even though I was one of 6 grandchildren and even though she so often would have got all our names mixed up and I would have been called Gail (her niece), no I mean Zane lol. She truly was one of the best grandmothers a girl could have!!!
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog, it’s one I’m glad I have written and shared, something that will forever be here for me to look back on and share with my children one day! 🙂