What are your childhood memories of your grandparents' house?(436 Posts)
I was schrunching some foil today and it reminded me of the Vitalite tub of milk bottle tops for the Guide Dogs (always a concept I struggled to undersand) at my DGP's house.
And the whoosh hit of tomato smell in the greenhouse.
And the tea caddy of buttom at the other DGP's house.
And the duoble loo roll holder for soft paper (guests) and Izal (unfortunate family).
And rice pudding with skin on.
And a shiny 5p coin for whomever had the smallest new potato on their plate at Sunday lunch.
Good times. Bittersweet memories.
Nanny & Grandad's house: Nanny's sweetie cupboard, mars bars cut into slices, the best home made chips ever (done in lard), always a pair of airtex knickers on the line, Grandad always in his room doing crosswords and listening to classical music LPs, Heinz chocolate steam pudding (doesn't taste the same now as it did in the 80s), Nanny knitting, playing with her box of buttons and leftover wool, doing jigsaws and crosswords with Nanny on a saturday night, Countdown on the TV, Nanny always going to bed with her hair in a snood, Nanny calling fromage frais "frommie bergairs", candlewick bedspreads.
Gran and Grandpa's house: Grandpa calling my Gran chick, Grandpa calling me a tater pie, raiding the biscuit tin for the chocolate ones, cricket on the TV, looking for angels in the flames of their coal fire, the smell of the coal fire, Bruno the labrador, mellow birds coffee, oil slicks in your brew from gold top milk.
happy days, all now sadly departed
and how could I forget...
Nanny always wearing a pinny, polo mints, stork margerine, Grandad wondering why he couldn't win trivial pursuit by only answering geography questions! Grandad's amazing knowledge of everything, Nanny teaching me to play patience and clock patience.
Gran and Grandpa never going out without a hat on - very smart.
Granny wearing her cross over pinny which she'd had since WW2, making jelly and jam tarts. Shredded wheat for breakfast and whiskey in our cups of tea. Papa eating Ryvita and drinking Guiness. The conservatory full of geraniums with the mangle at the end that Granny still used for the sheets - and we used to put worms through when she wasn't watching!
Electric blankets in the winter, the Swiss cowbells hanging by the front door. Playing boule in the garden, going cockle digging when the tide was out, playing with all the gorgeous glass boxes and jewellery on the 1930's dressing table........
And a million others!!!
They're both dead now and the house was sold, but the memories are bright, clear and happy.
Playing their piano,which is now in my house, but 16 years later still smells of theirs when I open the top.
My gran's smiling kindly face and beautiful white hair
The 'parlour' with the out of tune piano
A cabinet full of lovely ornaments and fine china
a coffee table with a scene from 'Swan lake' on it
The downstairs toilet had a few little steps down to it, never known any other like it!
pickles, celery and Blue ribands
My granddad shaving by the window with his electric shaver in living room
cousins to play with
card games after tea
I want to cry now...........
Dad's parents died when i was quite young (about 5) but Granda had a little clubhouse in his garden with a mini golf/putt putt course, a dart board... Grandma was sweet but i hadn't a clue what she was saying half the time apart from 'darlin' in her thick Irish accent. She used to make us pretty fairy costumes. They once had a hog rotisserie in their garden for great aunts birthday. The pig had an apple in it's mouth and great aunt wore lavender and a lavender coloured hat with Lacey gloves.
Mum's parents (Nan & Pa) were like my other parents. Almost every childhood memory has them in it.
Nan would make me poached egg on toast and cut the toast into soldiers only she would not slice it clean off- just 2 slivers down the centre so the butter would melt just so.
She made a passion fruit cake for every occasion.
They cooked bread steaks on the BBQ (french toast for those who don't know) but a savoury version- you eat with tomato sauce.
Nan would take me to the mall for a jam doughnut.
Pa would wake up at the crack of dawn to do the paper round...
Then tinker around in the car port with his jazz record blasting out and the smell of oil on his hands.
They had a canary.
Pa loved to do the gardening and then read a book or newspaper out in the court yard.
Sometimes nan would bring him a sandwich outside. I can see him eating it in my mind right now.
I would play with his hair and he would patiently let me put it in ribbons and bows.
They both played lawn bowls and both were very good at it.
My pa gave me away at my wedding.
He was an ANZAC war hero. His ashes were scattered 2 days ago by the RSL rowing team at Currumbin beach (QLD Australia) on ANZAC dawn service.
I couldn't be there but i said a prayer for him at 5am at ANZAC square in London.
I miss my Pa.
At one dearly missed grandma's house I remember the taste of her scrambled eggs - I still haven't managed to replicate it - think it must have added cream and fried in butter.
Sleeping on the put up bed in her lounge hearing the trains rumble by.
her massive walk in cupboard in the kitchen where she kept everything from eggs to bread to jam.
Her jewellery and make up - so fascinating to a little me. She loved to secretely put some make up on me when my mum wasn't looking and I loved wearing her heavy gold jewellery.
Her glass display cupboard resplendent with pictures of all her grandchildren and the special one of me - a large framed one of me and my auntie when I was a toddler. My mum and dad and auntie fell out when grandma died and I don't know what happened to that picture. I t would mean the world to me if I ever found it.
Her telephone table - the glass shelf containing address books and the top part containing her old fashioned telephone. Do they still make telephone tables? CAme with a lovely soft stool to sit on.
Her big soft double bed.
G-d I miss her.
My Nanna & Grandad are still with us and they are the best.
2 flat sheets (one fitted and one used as an extra blanket).
Lovely little garden.
Bird watching (with grandad).
Watching the water babies, railway children, fantasia and the amazing mr. blundon.
Nanna's pink olay lotion (which she has used for many many years)
Home cooked food.
Brooches and pearly long chain necklaces.
the 'hot press'
dark wood furniture and panelling
the smell from the guinness factory and the river
tea in cups and saucers
Formica in the kitchen.
Her goblin teasmaid.
Cuddling her in her big bed.
Finding my mum's teenage diary!
The mincing machine that bolted to the kitchen table.
A little table cum tray thing on wheels that she used for eating while watching telly.
The snooker was always on. And the wrestling - she wouldn't belive it was all staged.
Grandpa coming home from hospital for visits. He was very frail with cancer but he wouls still bounce me on his knee. His argyle socks. The little pots of jam he'd bring me. He callef me 'tuppeny hap'ney'. Nana used to say 'well I never did'.
Such a lovely thread.
My grandparents had all died before I was a year old so I don't have any of these lovely memories But I love reading about them all, there's something lovely about the old-fashioned-ness of them.
What strikes me about these memories is that I imagine at the time they didn't seem special, just mundane and every day. Someone said above they hope our dc's and grandchildrens memories will be more than watching strictly and going to Ikea. But that may well be a special memory to them. It's no less meaningful than going to the corner shop and watching Basil Brush or whatever.
Yes, oldsilver, that Kanugo game. A sort of simplified Scrabble.
Rot-gut homemade wine and being sent off to pick dandelions or elderflowers with which it was made, followed by sinister bubblings and gurglings as it fermented.
Granny togged up in her bee-keepnig outfit, smoking the hives, taking out the combs and extracting the honey. Leftover wax was made into furniture polish. Wonderful smells.
Very ancient wiring: round-pinned sockets, assorted sizes, most of them 2-pin.
Bakelite phone (rented from BT), with dial, and cone around the mouthpiece.
Electric bells in some rooms, with moving stars in the "breakfast room" to show which bell was pressed.
Central heating on ground floor only.
Non-automatic twin tub (went strong for 35 years, appliances were made to last in those days!)
My grandparents house was totally magical. It had a real hedge maze in the back garden and there was a plum tree and a gooseberry bush which I was fascinated by as they somehow seemed otherworldy.
When I was a child I found everything about their house and garden magical and enchanting. It truly felt like it was of another realm. I vividly remember the smell of their house - a mixture of old perfume and the sort of slightly damp smell some old peoples houses have. My grandma used to keep a bowl full of colourful pills (medicine) on her bedside table and as a child I thought they looked like sweets. There was a room at the far end of the upstairs corridor that always scared me, something about the dark and the length of it. There was also a bedroom that was painted bright yellow and this is the room that made the biggest impression on my memory as I still have the feeling that this room was filled with magic and was like a portal to another dimension. It was filled with sunlight and had the most amazing atmosphere, at least to a 6 year old child.
Ah to be a child again and have a brain that was able to see the magic in things again.
My grandma's tortoiseshell hair twist things that she made her bun with, and lots of hairpins and hairnets on her dressing table, all covered with a thin film of talc.
The amazing tomato smell in the tomato greenhouse - have never smelt that intense smell ever again.
The ancient bottle of Aqua Manda in the bathroom cupboard that never, ever got used and was also covered in a thin film of talc.
Weevils in the Weetabix.
And the duoble loo roll holder for soft paper (guests) and Izal (unfortunate family). grin
OMG my maternal grandparents used to have that too. How weird! My further misfortune was that at home we had to have Izal all the time (something to do with our dodgy sewerage). Oh the embarrassment of having to explain to guests that unfortunately we just have the horrible scratchy loo paper...
Anyway - paternal gps -coffee beans and a grinder, pigeons (oop North) and imperial leather soap, a succession of small dogs all named after girls comics
Maternal gps - swirly carpet, sliding wooden banister, hydrangeas that were great for hide n seek
As an aside my mat grandfather is still alive and still lives in his home, so I have the old memories overlaid with how it is now. to me it doesn't seem that different, DH thinks it's v run down, but I can't see it .
Two very different experiences - my mum and dad were from v different backggrounds.
At my grandparents' house in Devon:
The view of Teignmouth and the sea stretched out below us
Granny's retro white Mini with orange seats and no seat belts
The smell of their garage
Banana sandwiches and endless cake. Raspberry jam on toast.
Coronation street theme tune
Eighties' adverts on the TV
Teignmouth pier and the seafront promenade amusements
My db falling into Grandad's pond
Walking in the nearby woods
The smell of roast dinner and the sound of the extractor fan
The sound of the wind and seagulls on top of silence
At my grandparents' house in Cumbria:
The smell of the larder and woodsmoke
The sound of the stream outside
My grandma's massive thick navy boiled wool skirts as she'd play with us on her lap
My grandma's pearls
The smell of lavender water
The scary secondary staircase off the kitchen
The big red Aga
Horses, donkeys, chickens, dogs...
The spooky lampshades in our bedrooms
The numerous bathrooms that all smelled of both lavender and men's soap
The smell of the wooden fence in the back garden
Picking apples and runner beans
Grandma's music box
Grandad's porridge that he had to stir 100 times
Multicoloured Xmas tree lights
Dodgy 1970s bedding
Helping grandad have a shave
Climbing under the kitchen table when we wanted to get down as we were trapped against the door
My uncle's old toys
Bathroom soap with a magnet inside that stuck to a little soap holder
Grandad helping me with my maths
Whispered conversations in the dark with my sister on the double mattress on the floor
Wrestling with grandad
Being dangled by the ankles over the loo by my uncle
Going to feed the ducks
Going to visit grandma in her chocolate shop
Eating rice pudding
Watching Tarzan and lassie on bbc2
My nans Creme cardigan with 'hot cross bun' buttons
Dressing up in all my nans scarves and her telling me I looked like 'Sally gone for a living'
My Grampy had quite a big tv and was so proud of it I remember he used to keep the remote controls in the plastic sleeves that they came in
Eating cornflakes with hot milk
The greenhouse and various vegetables and flowers
Going blackberry picking
I miss them so much
At my Granny and Grandad's:
Staying over and being allowed a TABLESPOON of honey at breakfast (not on toast or anything) because my Granny did it everyday. It was 'good' for you
Being allowed to watch Brookside (wasn't allowed to watch soaps at home)
The mini forest of plants in the 'best lounge'
Gorgeous hall slate tiles and other period features
Green bathroom suite
They always decorated their xmas tree in red, including lights, it looked liked the devils tree
Salt on celery and sugar on tomatoes
Ice cream floats and knickerbockerglories
Spam, crab paste and sliced boiled egg for Sunday teatime
Softening the butted before tea (I have never had butter that spread so well since)
Doing the Bella crossword
Them belting out out of tune Songs of Praise
Their owl collection
When they took their teeth out at night and I would forget in the morning and get a shock
Rooms full of old interesting stuff
Yardleys lavender everywhere
probable fire risk coffee machine in their bedroom
One of those fibre optic things under a dome from when they were the height of fashion
Pot of imperial mints
The pin cushion
Bloody everything, I loved them dearly and miss them so much.
At my Nan's:
Bad memories here and this should be a happy thread!
Bowl of jelly babies on top of the telly.
Counting his collection of 5ps
Books to choose from in the parlour.
TOasting our own bread on the fire in the parlour.
Steak, chips and cauliflower.
The strawberries he grew.
Racing up and down the garden path playing with sisters and nephews
Playing under the dining room table imagining it to be all manner of things.
Lettuce sandwiches on Brown bread.
Ginger ale or Mellow Birds to drink. My gran's fruit cake that was soggy in the middle. Tea at 4.30pm - sandwiches and cake, or stewed fruit. Sometimes a little piece of meat or fish with some tiny potatoes and peas.
The toilet being half outside in the front porch - freezing. With a proper pull chain.
Grandad helping me wash before bed and dobbing talcum powder on my nose, forehead, chin and cheeks after, just for fun. Then brushing my hair 100 times, like a princess.
Getting into bed with crisp sheets and eiderdown - very warm due to electric blanket, don't think there was central heating though. Being scared of the big wardrobe in the corner and not getting to sleep for ages. It was a very loving house but I was always scared to go to sleep/be upstairs on my own.
The sound of the doorbell.
The dining table leg that had been used as a scratching post by 40 years worth of cats.
The patchwork style Wilton carpet that I used as a town and streets for my toy cars, the same as my outlaws still have and DS plays in the same way.
The brass model of Burns cottage, now on my shelf.
The bottle of Teachers that Gran would have a medicinal nip from every night.
Keiller butterscotch that I loved and the barley sugars that I didn't.
The black plastic loo seat that was wonky and would nip the back of my legs when getting off.
Izal loo roll.
Join the discussion
Please login first.