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). grin

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.

eaglewings Wed 02-Nov-11 22:54:04

The sound of a fly buzzing about

Piano melodies my granny would play as I went to sleep

Fox gloves

Pipe cleaners and empty matchboxes

The sound of of the aga as grandpa raked it and refilled it with coal

A photo of a camper van like theirs brought smells back to my memory that were so strong!

Happy Days

rubyrubyruby Wed 02-Nov-11 22:54:06

The tea trolly
Toast and dripping
Cherryade from the Corona man that left you with a red tache
'Sing something simple' on the radio

and a xylophone like Rolf Harris had.

crazynanna Wed 02-Nov-11 22:54:59

Sausage fritters for Saturday tea

Sandy the dog

The bat that lived in the outdoor loo <shakes>

Hiding under the kitchen table from the rent man

Sunday night...newspaper on gran's lap...head on knee for de-nitting

Grandad drunk every Sunday afternoon grin

Miss my grandma sad

rubyrubyruby Wed 02-Nov-11 22:55:05

Oh - and Quality Street tins and the mn paying 'cribbage'

zippy539 Wed 02-Nov-11 22:55:24

Great question.

Lying in bed at my GPs in the dark and watching the car lights from the busy road outside travel across the wall paper.

The lovely silky bedspread on my gran's bed - we used to rush into bed with her in the mornings. She would fire up the Teasmade and we would dunk biscuits in her tea while she told us stories of 'the old days'.

The BEST fish and chips ever.

Sitting on a step-stool at the table because she didn't have enough chairs when we were all there.

My grandad pulling coins out of my ears and letting me roll his roll-ups.

Playing with the china ornaments that my gran collected. Little elephants, china ladies etc in front of the open fire.

Good times indeed.

Sevenfold Wed 02-Nov-11 22:56:16

grandma bending down to get sweets out of the bottom of the cupboard, and my dad panicing
shop brought farmhouse cake(yum)
her wrap around apron.

AtYourCervix Wed 02-Nov-11 22:56:27

Blankets with satin ribbon on the edges.

top and tailing gooseberries while sitting on the draining board.

woodpigeons in the early morning.

shiney 50ps granny had saved for us for pocket money.

green plasticine.

rubyrubyruby Wed 02-Nov-11 22:59:16

....... and those little wooden square grids that went on the wall that had miniature ornaments on.
Floral carpet
Floral settee
Floral curtains!!

Nylon sheets

joanofarchitrave Wed 02-Nov-11 22:59:44

The cupboard of toys my granny had, mostly from the early decades of the century, like stereoscopes with views of American national parks.

The shelf of children's books she had that were cut into shapes - incredibly exciting! (actually I think the content was very dull but the SHAPES were great)

her putting bran on everything

the faint smell of gas

and later on after her sight had gone, my granny doing the Times crossword in her head shock while I read out the clues in a state of awe

faverolles Wed 02-Nov-11 23:00:07

Purple flowery duvet covers with a sheet underneath to keep them clean.
Enormous hostess trolley that was wheeled out every Sunday.
Nasturtiums covered in caterpillars.
Ben Shaws lemonade.
Very flat Yorkshire pudding with onion gravy.
Ready brek for breakfast.
Baking jam tarts. (or rather, watching my twin make jam tarts)
A plate with different animals dressed up and named. I can remember Darcy Dog and Conchita Cow, but there were others.
Teaspoons with saints at the top of the handle.

wondering2 Wed 02-Nov-11 23:01:06

Oooooh yes totally relate to having very vivid memories of grandparents' houses - for some reason much more vivid than memories of my own family home.

In my case: at my Italian grandparents' house:

walking round and round between kitchen and living room via an outside balcony (they were on the 5th floor) and smelling the smell of freshly made bread coming from the bakery in the courtyard below

the heat on my legs when we went out

the mothball smell from my grandmother's wardrobe

the smell of my Dad's deodorant as he got ready in the morning

the endless naps my parents would have in the afternoons while my sister and I annoyed our grandparents who they themselves eventually dozed off as well!

delicious vegetables


and loads more....

At my English grandparents' house:

again the smell of the house

thick wall to wall carpet

my sister and I sleeping under matching duvets

the light/windmill that played a tune that my sister and I listened to again and again

listening to Radio 4 news being read by the newsreader with the really deep voice on our way there

apple and blackberry pie - also steak and kidney pie (am now a vegetarian so that is actually a bit of a yuk memory!)

and on and on and on!!!!

5inthebed Wed 02-Nov-11 23:01:08

The smell of Warburtons bread - Nana's flat

The smell of lamb cooking and of huge jars of pickling vinegar - Other Nana's flat. She also had a blow up doll in the corner of her bedroom, which her brother used as part of his comedy sketch (in a non sexual way).

WaftyCrank Wed 02-Nov-11 23:01:43

My gran's big box of buttons.

Playing shoe shops with my DSis and my nan's shoes. Not her best ones though. grin

Watching Tom and Jerry with my grandad.

My grandad playing the organ.

Our yearly trip to Blackpool. Not strictly a memory from their house but one I always think of.

Grandad's homemade mushroom soup and lovely porridge on cold days.

My best childhood memories all come from my grandparents house.

ImOldGreeeeeg Wed 02-Nov-11 23:02:02

The smell of my grandmas sherry
The piles of newspaper clippings my grandad stashed under his chair
The quality street tins full of Lego and buttons
Polishing my grandmas silver tea service every weekend when I stayed there
Freezing our tits off because my grandma refused to have the heating on
20p every weekend and £2.50 for my birthday smile

I really miss them sad

Lawks, yes, Cribbage.

And lime jelly with onion. shock Truly - it was lush!!

Oh and home-made cream horns. I have the metal cones somewhere that she used. [sob]

wondering2 Wed 02-Nov-11 23:04:55

I miss mine too. The strength of their unconditional love was formidable and unquestioning.

Lonnie Wed 02-Nov-11 23:05:06

warm gooseberries (from the sun)
coffee and smoke (she smoked 60 a day)
heavy heavy duvets
cross words
Sitting on the ironboard with 2 cousins as we had run out of chairs so ironboard over 2 chairs made for 3 seats
Sleeping in 2 chairs pushed together

and oh love love love..

miss her still.. (18 years in Jan since she passed)

wonderful thread

Nanny's button box.
The tin of sweets in the larder.
Butcher's steels and knives, hams hanging in the larder (Grandad was a butcher).
Grandad bringing the take from the shop home and sitting with him counting old pound notes and marvelling at a £50.
The HUGE, 6 inch thick ledgers in which he wrote his accounts.
Antique furniture and treasures, the textured glass jug which inspired my own antique glass collection many years later.
Nanny's apple pie.
Blackie the Labrador.
Making a kite from a paper bag and flying it from the balcony.
The click click of Nanny's knitting needles.
Reading the Observer with Grandad on a Saturday afternoon.
The clunk and whoosh of the lift to their flat as it was operated late at night in the still darkness.

Oh how I miss my Nanny and Grandad.

I had a money box from Lloyds for 50 pences. It was the shape of a black horse head. <<omerta>>

harbingerofdoom Wed 02-Nov-11 23:06:25

Half-crown for birthdays. I thing that is 12.5p

SingingSands Wed 02-Nov-11 23:07:41

The doorbell.

The swirly carpet pattern, we used to pick a coloured "swirl" and then you were only allowed to step on that colour!

The extremely grumpy and scary old cat, who would think nothing of swiping a sharpened claw down your arm as you passed him on the stairs.

How the spare room had a "hard bed" and a "soft bed" and we'd always fight to sleep in the "soft bed"!

The loo roll holder in the bathroom that was 3 foot high - little cupboard for loo roll storage, little shelf for grandad's newspaper, little dispensing section with serrated edge for ripping the loo roll, and an ashtray on the top!

The old out-of-tune piano.

Gran's "press" - the mysterious cupboard we used to try to sneak into to find treasures!

All the old family photos on the dresser. Australian relatives we'd never meet but seemed to know so intimately.

And the smell of it, that familiar smell.

Ahhh...memories! smile

Am sitting here weeping now.

They're great aren't they, grandparents? I hope my lot will have similar feelings when the look back.


Lonnie Wed 02-Nov-11 23:09:36

Pressed send to fast

at paternal grandparents house

Bow and arrow (grandad taught me)
Raw peas in brown paper bags
the coin she would press in my hand
the clock

at step grandparents house

matchboxes to build with (we had 2 huge bags)
the huge plate rack with sweets at the bottom
longhaired jack russels
the smell of wool

and yes agree with the poster all the best memories come from my grandparents houses I was blessed to have 3 sets

sad I miss mine too much to even start.

spiderlight Wed 02-Nov-11 23:09:55

The teasmade! I never quite grasped what it was as a child but I wish I knew where it had ended up, because I'd love to have it now. Tea! In bed! Without having to get up!
Strange watery skimmed milk.
The orange concertina sliding door between the kitchen and the downstairs loo.
Chocolate my nanna had hidden from herself all over the house. She had a particularly good stash in a hatbox at the top of her wardrobe and would send me up to dig it out for her.
Pickled onions - sitting with a fork each and eating an entire jar between us one evening.
Rides on her Stairlift grin

rubyrubyruby Wed 02-Nov-11 23:11:53

My Mum still uses her teasmade every morning grin

Euphemia Wed 02-Nov-11 23:13:38

I can't see this thread for tears! sad

Grannie's floury hands because she was always baking.
The smell of tomatoes in the "glass place".
The loud TICK-TOCK of the clock on the mantelpiece.
The smell of the coal fire.
How freezing cold it was in all rooms except the living room.
The wally dugs that sat in the front porch.
Rabbie Burns plates on the wall.

Miss them very very much. sad

crazynanna Wed 02-Nov-11 23:13:48

My Grandma was the best sad Truly the best

faverolles Wed 02-Nov-11 23:17:24

Can I go again? This has opened memory floodgates!

Three little glass kittens in a tiny china pot.
Watching Dads Army.
Playing cards (spectacularly memorable game when Grandma flicked her false teeth across the room by accident)
Going for walks and each of us using a walking stick.
Soup that tasted of nothing but ground pepper.
Playing King of the Castle in bed with them before we all got up for breakfast (which was all ready and set up the nigt before)
Grandma confusing the dogs name with mine, and telling friends I hadn't wet the bed at all whilst staying for a week.

CBear6 Wed 02-Nov-11 23:20:10

Dad's side

- sugar sandwiches on cheap white bread with margarine (to make the sugar stick, of course)
- eating our tea on the stairs
- Wogan on the black and white TV (and wondering why they didn't just get a colour one like we had), also snooker in black and white.
- dogs and cigarette smoke
- making gingerbread from the Be-ro cookbook
- ivory ornaments (especially elephants) and an ivory bracelet we would roll along the floor

Mum's side

- teapots, the kind you collect
- plastic floor mats in the hallway
- plastic concertina doors in the kitchen and bathroom
- the worlds weirdest packed lunches (I lived with them for a few months and the first time they made my packed lunch for school I was given four salmon sandwiches, six bags of cheap crisps, five penguin biscuits, a d a two litre bottle of coke. I had to redo it discretely so as not to hurt their feelings)
- my Nana's suntan and jewellery and nice clothes and dyed hair
- Grandad and his ship's bread
- tinned stewing steak! While I was at Nana's my parents were at Grandad's, he bought food for our dog - umpteen tins of stewing steak in gravy grin

I suddenly really miss them sad

MardyBra Wed 02-Nov-11 23:20:37

Another one who played Cribbage.
Grandad smoking roll-ups. Sadly they got him in the end.
Izal loo paper too.
Our tree house in the garden.
Grandad's chamber pot under the bed - even after they had an inside bathroom.
Cats everywhere.
Roasting chestnuts and marshmallows on the open fire.

thatboysmum Wed 02-Nov-11 23:20:40

She always wore house coats, when ever I think of her I remember her wearing a royal blue one.

Always being fed/offered food and snacks, you were not allowed to not eat at her house and she made the best sauce's for dinner.

She always had spiders in her house (the house backed onto a forest).

She had a toy boot which opened up into a house type thing that we always played with.

She had a pair of my late granddads glasses that she used to let me wear when we played schools or whatever because they 'suited' me.

She used to take alot of tablets and vitamins so I used to count them out for her in the morning when I stayed over (doesn't sound like the best thing to do but it was fun! lol) and she used to give the cat cod liver oil capsules.

These are just a few. Unfortunately she now has alzheimers (sp?) and is in a care home but I am very pleased that I have so many very happy memories of her from when she was well.

RufusTFirefly Wed 02-Nov-11 23:20:52

This is about the whole experience of being back in my beloved Gateshead, as well as the house - hope that's all right. There's a lot of it as memories kept popping up as I typed:

Arriving (at last, after 300-odd mile journey) in Nanny and Granddad's street - still cobbled. The tang of coal smoke in the air (still takes me back, that one). Blue and red glass in the front door, which when looked through made the world seem strange and new.

Lying in bed in my tiny slip of a room and hearing the trains rattling past - the London-Edinburgh line ran past the bottom of the street. After a night or two, no longer being woken up by them. Nanny's wise words and Granddad's wisecracks. The Geordie budgie, calling out "Whar's that Smutty? Whar's the cat? Puss-puss-puss!". Smutty the cat opening the back door by banging on the latch with his front paws.

Trips to Shields fish quay with Granddad to buy job lots of fish which he then sold to the neighbours. It seemed to me then that Granddad knew everybody on Tyneside as he was greeted from all sides everywhere we went. Rolling up some tabs for him in his little rolling machine. Or watching him roll a tab one-handed (he had lost his left arm in a workplace accident years before). Listening to Nanny singing "Felton Lonnin" and "The Dashing White Sergeant". She had a voice like a silver bell.

Swimming at Leam Lane baths, and trips to Saltwell Park. Lovely poppy seed bread from the local Jewish bakers. Seeing the Jewish people going to the schul on Saturday, smart in their best clothes. Buses with "Shop at Binns" emblazoned on their fronts.

The most delectable ice cream ever, sold by a man who had a pony and cart and visited once a week, announcing his arrival with a blast of a whistle. I have been looking for ice cream like that ever since.

Purplebuns Wed 02-Nov-11 23:25:01

I still feel raw about losing my Grandad a year ago and both my Grans have Alzheimers sad

My Grandma G, always had a big bag of sweets for us when we arrived, and another when we left (saw her 5 times a year max.) A freezer full of ice creams and a well stocked cake box. She would buy us videos, like a really low rate Thumbelina and had three dogs and worked three jobs until she was 75.

Grandma, was quiet, good for a game of scrabble and made the best toast ever!
She was quite reserved, but really enjoyed our company having four girls herself. The big cuddles we got off her and Grandad on arrival and leaving were wonderful.

Grandad, very tall, fantastic sense of style, smelt heavenly. Would make us laugh by wiggling his ears at us, making funny noises at us whilst tickling with his foot on the way past. etc Would tape films for us off the TV, as did Grandma.

My Grandparents are wonderful, and watching them decline and realising they are getting old has been the biggest shock to me as I grew up. I didn't see them all the time and they were all so consistent, that when they started to change it was a real move away from my childhood.

ghostlytale Wed 02-Nov-11 23:26:07

The (pleasant) nostalgic smell in the pantry.

The (much used) sewing box, containing button box - my favourite. Sewing basic clothes for my little dolls with my grandmother.

Blankets in the spare (my) bedroom, dozens of them, no duvets, but was lovely and warm.

Collecting blackberries and lavender, I always associate the scent of the latter with their house now.

We had a version of 'gran's press' as mentioned by Singingsands, in a (locked) wooden cupboard. Gifts would be produced from here. Notable ones included a treasury of fairy tales and a toy sweet shop with real sweets.

The woodland walks with my grandfather. He would always reminisce about those when I was grown up.

Has reminded me how much I do actually miss them, though they died a long time ago.

oldsilver Wed 02-Nov-11 23:28:48

The smell of lavender bags - everywhere.
The curtains with a bow pattern on, that when the wind blew looked like butterflies fluttering.
Filling the little glass up with water so the nodding ducks could dunk in it.
Margerine and not butter (yum) for me Blue Riband was a treat smile
The paintings on the wall - still remember them in detail.
The cuckoo clock cuckooing (I have my own now) and the race and argument with my Dsis to pull the chain.
Their dentures by the side of the beds grin without the face bit
The taste of the water which was fed by a natural spring.
The smell of coal tar soap in the bathroom.
The fact I felt like the princess and the pea cause the bed I slept in had three mattresses on it smile
Sitting around and singing with them when one played on the piano and the other played the organ.

I could go on and on and on ... I too, miss them so much and they both passed away in the 80's. We holidayed in the area this Summer ((first holiday in 10 years) and although the house and area have changed it was all just too familiar and lovely smile smile smile smile smile

Another one who remembers learning to play crib thanks to her Grandparents here! smile

BerylsSausagePlait Wed 02-Nov-11 23:31:34

Tea from the Teas-maid
Sheets and many blankets and being tucked in very tightly
The orange glow of the street lamp outside the house
My Grans Madeira cake
The smell of my Grandad's pipe tobacco

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Wed 02-Nov-11 23:31:44

Her house had long grass and a redundant antique lawnmower. A motorbike with a side car leaned against the wall... there were apple trees and a skullery with odd bits of carvings from my Dad's time at sea. There were pink skilk, pleated lampshades and a coal fire.

My bedroom had been my Dads and it had his artwork on the walls. I loved it all so much. xxx

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Wed 02-Nov-11 23:33:06

ooh and she taught me to play whist and how to work out the form of race horses! And told me ghost stories!

Fifteen 2, fifteen 4, fifteen 6 and one for His Nob is 7.


I have my Nan's button box. It was the one thing I asked for 10 years after she'd passed away, when we lost Grandad too.

And what IS it about Nannys wanting to make sure you eat when you visit?! No-one was allowed to leave without having had at least several cups of tea and some home made cake!

Making ballerinas from pink fuschia (sp?) flowers.


crazynanna Wed 02-Nov-11 23:35:44

My grandma refused to wear any knickers if she wore tights grin

Signet2012 Wed 02-Nov-11 23:37:07

aww my grandparents where amazing and Im still lucky to have a nana.

My granda was my favourite adult growing up.
things that remind me of him - barbershop singing, by my heads itchy (he used to scratch our heads as he said it) cheese sanwiches, "wee's supper n bed" "bonny lass" scruffy cardigans, holey slippers, tweed flat cap, button box, capitals of the countries, the "surgery" (table in dining room for broken toys and grazed knees) cigarette cards.............. Why dont we realise what we have until its gone? Wish I could turn back time and chose seeing him over hanging out with my mates when I could still spend time with him.

I have the DGPs' button box as well. smile

I had started to create one of my own for the Chaotic4 (well one of them wink) from all their old buttons from clothes. My mom borrowed it one day (she did actually ask to borrow this time grin) and for some friffing unknown reason she just threw all these significant buttons nto a big box of buttons that she had bought from various charity shops. WTAF? I fumed. angry

PomBearAtTheGatesOfDoom Wed 02-Nov-11 23:38:22

The white three tier cake tin with the blue lid, and gingerbread and rice cake fresh out of the oven. Toast with Nimble bread and Lurpak butter, which we never got at home, only at Nanna's. She had a "New World Rangette" that was old when I was small and was almost 50 when it finally went bang and gave up the ghost, and her washing machine, in the wash-house out the back, had an enormous "thing" in the middle that sort of threshed the clothes and a mangle attached to the top. Tomato plants in the greenhouse, and the rain barrels outside it.
Granda and nanna having "forty winks" after dinner and the TV always being on Tyne-Tees because neither of them dared change the channel in case they couldn't get it back and missed Emmerdale Farm or Corrie.
Nanna sewing up ladders in her tights, which she called stockings.
My mam's old china dolls, Jane-Anne and Rosemary sitting on the bed in the little bedroom, and we were never allowed to touch them because "they're as old as mam and you might hurt them".
Nanna's silver eidelweiss brooch, and the sparkly treasures (which although I now know were just costume jewwellery from Woolies) were like the crown jewels to us.
Granda taught me the first three verses of Vitae Lampada when I was about 6 and I can still recite it now, and my DCs can chime in "play up, play up, and play the game" in the right place. And we can all sing the Paratrooper Song.
I could go on for hours. Granda has been gone 30 years now, but Nanna is 93 and still going strong smile

And... and..more! The smell of Max Factor powder compact which Nanny used, a rich, sweet smell.
And a trail of sawdust across the floor when Grandad came home from his shop. He always wore a tailor made 3 piece suit with silk backed waistcoat under his white butcher's coat and always had turn-ups tailored into his trousers, which caused the sawdust trail. smile

When I was a kid, about 7 years old, and he was in his 50s he'd lift me into the air by one hand on my stomach as if I was flying and could do chin lifts on the top of the kitchen door.

The candlewick bedspread on the bed.

yy to sitting on the stepstool because there weren't enough chairs

Enormous sliding doors on one wall of the kitchen that hid pantry shelves

Glass window between the hallway and the kitchen. It had ornaments on the narrow sill.

All the china trinkets in the display cabinet.

Copies of the People's Friend

The funny smell....

The black and red pouffe

Those antimassacar (sp.?) things on the sofa and chairs

Making pancakes with my Gran

oldsilver Wed 02-Nov-11 23:42:10

My granma always used to wear those big knee length bloomers grin I have her sewing box - they were going to throw it away when the house was cleared shock

They had a stereogram, no telly, that we used to listen to the Archers on. And we used to play Old Maid, Donkey, Happy Families and Kanugo (no, me neither) - Father Christmas had to get for DS last Christmas the Sainsbury's 3 pack set of traditional card games ... I was stunned, they were exactly the same smile

Getting up reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyyy early in the morning to go mushrooming with my granpa or just generally strolling round the fields with the farm dogs and him smile smile

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 02-Nov-11 23:47:03

Mine are still alive - in fact I was brought up by maternal gps.

Button box - we had a "pouffe" in the corner that contained button delights along with a sock darning mushroom thing that I joke about with dh to this day...My dad always sat on said pouffe when he came round.

Cocktail cabinet - it played tunes when you opened it - only ever at Xmas, famiy wedding etc. It contained all the left over drink from when my auntie got married in 1977. Little cans of ginger ale, bottles of babycham, bols to make snowballs with, glace cherries, cocktail sticks - as children these were things of wonder......

Kellamity Wed 02-Nov-11 23:47:37

OMG what a fantastic thread - has opened up a whole memory box for me!

The yellow garage door.
The sweeping drive with pampas grass either side.
Always a white ford fiesta!
The smell of tomatoes in the greenhouse.
Our initials in the concrete outside the garage.
The gap in the hedge that would lead to the lane down to the horse's field.
Our apple trees planted when we were born.
The lucky rabbit's foot in the pantry drawer.
The homemade curtains with massive hems.
The red stool, just the right height for us to sit on.
Playing mums and dads in the lean-to with the sun beds and pink woollen blankets.
Nanny's Sunday lunch mmmmmmm

We had the ultimate solution to not enough chairs, though there were many in my DGPs little flat because Grandad collected antiques. Despite the size of their home there was at times more than 20 of us at Christmas tea. The gatelegged barley twist table would be used, the kitchen table and a formica coffee table for extra dishes. The diners would stretch from far side of the "living room" into the kitchen.

And those young uns without chairs would sit on wooden boards placed across the chairs of two other folk. smile

One pair of antique chairs were rosewood with tapestry covered seats which lifted out, as old ones do. We didn't realise that they had worn a little and the frame had enlarged a bit until Uncle Arthur (a little fella the spit of Arthur Askey) suddenly disappeared downwards, his bum stuck in the framework of the chair seat and his little legs pointing ceilingwards!

PortoTreasonAndPlot Wed 02-Nov-11 23:56:29

I remember being taken to see my ggm. Who lived in the "posh" front room in my aunts house. She had wonderful things in glass cabinets and always gave me 50p - a fortune in 1972.

OMG - so many.

Sweet peas
Lime marmalade
"taste of honey"
sewing box
lovely bureau desk
Morning Glories in the sunroom

Strangely, the ones from my maternal grandparents, who we saw more often, are nowhere near as evocative. I am not sure why that is, but I have inherited loads of stuff from my paternal grandparents and it all brings memories flooding back. I determinedly use it all, but have been known to weep over a broken plate or a worn-out teatowel blush.

Right, I have gathered myself <punches Chaos> grin

Cuckoo call from what always seemed to be right outside my bedroom window.

Loving the fact that one of the bedrooms in their house was known as 'RockStock's Room' as I was the first grandchild to stay there after they bought the house just after I was born.

Listening out for Pa first thing in the morning and then running as fast and as loudly as I could to leap into their bed so I could sit next to Grannie when we supped tea in bed that Pa had gone to make.

Playing Pooh Sticks for ever when we took their 3 dogs for long walks through the meadows behind Long Melford.

Making drop scones with Grannie and burning myself EVERY time, but not giving a shit as it was so much fun.

Chopping onions for Grannie with her (what I thought then) amazing onion chopper thingy wotsit.

The smell of Grannie's Cinzano and whatever it was she mixed it with.

Sneaking into their drawing room to watch Grange Hill. Grannie knew I did but never told my Mum (I was banned from watching it at home!)

Climbing the trees in the garden and falling out of one once, but luckily landing in their pond - pond was pretty big so I splashed rather than hurt!

The thousands of daffodils in what would have been a paddock many moons ago every spring, ditto crocuses and snowdrops peeking through at the end of winter around the garden.

The crunch of the gravel when we drove up the drive. Fighting with my brothers to get out of the car first to swing the gate open.

Afternoon tea, every day without fail.

THE BEST MACARONI CHEESE IN THE WORLD EVER. No has, can or will ever make it like Grannie did. Ditto the best gravy in the world.

The smell of the larder at the end of the house, and then behind another door Pa's workroom with a completely different smell.

Making bottles of sodastream up in what now looks like the most amazing contraption ever!

Helping grannie make her bed up - she taught me hospital corners when I was about 5 and I won't buy fitted sheets just so I can do them on our beds now.

My wonderful grandfather was just amazing. He was a General in the Army but to me he was simply Pa and I wish he could see all that I am my children have achieved. He died when I was just 20, but I still think about him almost everyday.

My Grannie taught me EVERYTHING I know about cooking. It is my true passion and I credit the hours and hours I spent standing on a stool 'helping' her from about the age of 3. She was overjoyed when my DS was born on her birthday and I am so pleased that my three older children have some wonderful memories of her.

<punches Chaos again>

MotherMucca Wed 02-Nov-11 23:58:29

The smell of my grandma's powder and lipstick.
Hairy curlers.
The smell of sprouts.
The cupboard in the hall smell - shoe polish with a faint undercurrent of washing powder.
Ironing knickers.
Dippy egg and soldiers.
The taste of real butter in sandwiches.
The sound grandma made when she kissed my cheek (a proper 'smacker').
The opening credits of Corrie.

Course, I'm living in it now. But, by golly, I miss my darling grandma. sad sad <tears trickle>

ItsonlymeMrsDB Wed 02-Nov-11 23:58:57


Your memories are lovely.


TheNoodlesIncident Wed 02-Nov-11 23:59:01

The smell of the pink china pomander with flowers on. I still have it in a box in the loft, and it still smells the same! (No loss of scent, I mean.)

The linoleum in the space between the carpet and the walls - no fitted carpets for Gran!

The spaniel ornament on the living room windowsill

The drying greens out the back

The display cabinet with photos of grandchildren on

PortoTreasonAndPlot Thu 03-Nov-11 00:04:41

Rock <<sobs>>

My dd is definitely lacking GPs. She has only 2 and they are both useless,

Thanks MrsLovelyDB

Sorry about all my typos/crap proofing, but I blame Chaos.

ItsonlymeMrsDB Thu 03-Nov-11 00:05:42




I could go on and on and on with amazing memories of Grannie and Pa. My youngest DC has just one grandparent (my mum) and it makes me so sad that she can know no others.

Laquitar Thu 03-Nov-11 00:06:24

Lovely thread smile, i enjoyed reading all the posts.

Cinnamon smell.

Long red peppers (Spanish), fried, roasted, pickled.

Smell of old fashioned soap.

Drawers of letters and photos from family members immigrants around the world - all the envelopes and stamps were kept too.

workshy Thu 03-Nov-11 00:07:02

we didn't see my grandma often as it was over 2 hours away (a lifetime in the early 80s) so we would go 2 or 3 times a year and we would come out so fat!!!

we would get there about 10 and there would be hot buttered toast
then at 12, roast beef (always beef) with yorkshire puddings
followed by a choice of 2 plate pies! (omly ever met my grandma who made plate pies?) and I always got laughed at because I liked just custard by itself, but she would always save me some!
then around 2 pm the special biscuit tin would come out that was was full of penguins and blue ribbands

then so we didn't get hungry on the way home (as if) at about 4 pm she would bring out a selection of cooked meat, cakes and bananas -and what ever we didn't eat we had to take home with us!

as I hit my teens she decided I was some kind of technical whizz and would send me down to her friends flat (bottom left) to go and sort out her video, alarm clock etc

the first time I drove to her house, I came out and found a £5 note in my pocket -apparently she had been doing this to my dad since he married my mum. They had gone to see her from Manchester to Lincoln and he wouldn't take any money for the petrol, so she snuck it into his pocket! -this went on for 30 years with niether of them saying anything, dad thinks mum still doesn't know lol


I'll bet she won't remember them as useless. There'll be memories for her just like we have these. smile

And stealth.

Evocative. That's the word I have been searching for the whole thread. Cheers bud.


MotherMucca Thu 03-Nov-11 00:12:35

My Norn' Irish GP memories are:
Grandma smoking in the bathroom.
Granddad playing his banjo on the loo.
Relatives pressing folded-up notes (£) into my hand.
The smell of powder in the room I shared with an auntie.
Egg and onion sarnies.
Copious amounts of food.
Watching V the alien tv series.
My grandma's wheezy laugh. (see remembrance .1).

WitchOfWoo Thu 03-Nov-11 00:17:41

Granny taking a shovelful of burning coal from the fire and running through to the bedroom to have an instant fire on.

Grandad's shed which smelt of creosote and had stacks of kindlers and a picture of Betty Grable on the wall.

The pantry with jars of jam and pickles.

DuelingFanjo Thu 03-Nov-11 00:27:12

At my dad's parents:

Dead flies in the conservatory.

The serving hatch between their kitchen and dining room.

Not being allowed to read at the dinner table or to get down until everyone had eaten.

The smell of the empty scrubbed sink in the kitchen.

Po-going on my grandpa's lawn at christmas.

My granny on the piano.

Books about the royal family.

Grandpa's walking sticks.

Placemats with hunting scenes.

At my mum's parents:

Spiders in the cereal cupboard.

The patterns on the ceiling.

Boxes of matches and granddad doing magic tricks.

Watching Haley Mills films.

The door to the stairs.

oldsilver Thu 03-Nov-11 00:35:53

Wow, mine also had placemats with hunting scenes on and some others with very old Devon and Cornwall historical pubs on Jamaica Inn was my favourite smile

Brill thread. Like Proust or something!
Ok I really miss all my grandparents, 2 died within a week of each other 20 years ago (romantic!), thankfully both well into their 80's:
Smoked salmon for tea
Lovely art deco house with a special shelf lined up with miniatures collected from all over the world (booze that is)
Tomato scented greenhouse
Raspberry patch
Baby frogs in the garden
Large lawn for clock golf and croquet (!)
Nosh house (larder) packed full of Corona and just about everything else
Sasha the black lab who used to let us ride on his back smile
Thimbles of whiskey
Tiger Tim/Rainbow annuals in my dad's old bedroom.
Colour TV on all over the house (that was shocking for us - we had B&W)

I'd better stop... this could go on all night and I haven't even got on to my other grandparents yet.

happybubblebrain Thu 03-Nov-11 01:00:02

I have lots, I always loved going there.

I remember my grandma feeding the birds and us all watching them from the kitchen window. The amazing cakes my grandma made and the smell from the electric mixer. Wholemeal toast with lime marmalade. The shaggy carpet in the attic bedroom and the orange foldout 1970s bed that we sometimes slept on. I remember my grandma singing songs to me and the daytrips she planned for us around London. Lovely homemade soup. The lovely garden with the rope swing at the bottom of it. Lots of great fun times and everyone really happy to be there.

WeepsInPaleDew Thu 03-Nov-11 01:03:43

A big old apple tree I used to climb. I loved being surrounded by blossom.

The summerhouse in the lovely garden and the homemade swings. Lying on the grass with a glass of ice cream soda with an ice cream float.

Making toast at the coal fire, lovely homemade bread, proper farm butter and homemade jam.

The china shire horses.

My grandad's shed, he was a joiner and I loved just sitting there watching him work. I remember the smell of the wood shavings and my grandad throwing offcuts for me to whittle.

My lovely grandma, never without a cup of tea or a cigarette. She used to give me a little sip of Babycham or Snowball in a special glass, I felt so grown up. She displayed my art everywhere, she was so proud of my work. When she died, a big chunk of me died too. I hope I make her proud.

<sobs like a baby>

MotherMucca Thu 03-Nov-11 01:08:37

WIPD: "My lovely grandma... When she died, a big chunk of me died too. I hope I make her proud"

<<also sobs, nay, wails like a baby>>

goodasgold Thu 03-Nov-11 01:15:17

A dusty bin

Downstairs - lovely

Upstairs - haunted and scary as shit

The cold, sparse and basic nature of GDs house. I also remember our dog whining in the night, dad letting her out and her crapping all over the place. She'd had lovely fresh cows milk before bed, and managed to hold it in until she got outside.

Also remember GD slaughtering a cow and getting told off for kicking up the dust around the carcass.

WeepsInPaleDew Thu 03-Nov-11 01:34:53


<passes tissues and brew

She was such a lovely person, I miss her so much.

<smiles through tears>

MotherMucca Thu 03-Nov-11 02:13:57

<<Accepts, Weeps>>

I know that feeling of grandma-shaped hole. After my grandma died, I lost the plot. Still wondering when I'll find it>>

Apologies to Chaos for misogging over lovely thread.

TheFrogs Thu 03-Nov-11 02:58:35

Immaculate house (nan picking crumbs off the carpet and grumbling) smile
Nan having a sneaky fag, only one a week, and a sherry while grandad was walking the dog on Sunday lunchtime grin
Giving me a shot glass of sherry as long as I sipped it very slowly
Pigeons making a racket on the roof (Nan hated them with a passion)
The mangle in the outhouse (fascinating)
Nan's porridge with cold milk around it like a little island
Nan chasing squirrels down the garden with a stick "dirty vermin"
My apple tree in the garden, gooseberries, rhubarb
The magic land I was convinced lived at the bottom of her garden
Taking me to the seaside
Kicking leaves up
Toilet roll dolls
The way she was forever correcting my speech despite the fact she was very broad
Reading letters from their friends in Germany
Nan saying hello to Mr Smith next door over the hedge then slagging him off rotten the minute he was out of earshot
I have her sewing box, still with buttons and wool in the colour of my primary uniform in little Beaties bags

Mostly I remember her house being the safest place in the world. I loved my other grandparents too obviously but I really miss my special Nan. Whenever I hear one of those pigeons I like to think it's her way of cheering me up smile

BeatrixBlackMambaKiddo Thu 03-Nov-11 06:29:25

Wow what an emotional thread. Aren't most of us so lucky to have had these amazing people fill our lives with so much love.

My paternal granda died when I was only 11. He was 85. At that age he would still drive about 3 miles in the rain to pick me up from school so I wouldn't get wet (I only had a 10 minute walk home).
I remember pandrops, his smiling eyes and his absolute adoration of me. I often think about him and wish he could see me now. I cry, very easily, thinking about him - he was such a special man.

My maternal granda lived an hour away from us and I loved to spend my school holidays with her.
I remember making toast over an open fire with her
Collecting hens eggs from the barn
Making pancakes with her
Playing cards at night with her and her thinking it was a bit bad to do it on a Sunday
and I remember seeing her cry only once when she told me of how her own mother had died when she was 2. Her father paid a woman to come in and look after the children and the woman was evil to the children, even stealing their food and taking it home to her own family.

Most of all I just remember their unconditional love and how happy I was just spending time with them, whatever we did.*

*Thinking about it now that never included spending money. None of my grandparents had any.

Shutupanddrive Thu 03-Nov-11 06:46:34

My gran always had that green fairy soap in the kitchen, the smell always takes me back!

HauntedHengshanRoad Thu 03-Nov-11 06:55:16

I remember a lot of Chinese ornaments and paintings. My grandfather was English, but travelled a lot to China in the 1950s - 1970s as he was a shipping boss in Liverpool. It's nice to look back on, because I ended up moving to Shanghai where he spent a lot of time. I think it was those ornaments that inspired me to come here.

Aww grin

My grandparents' apartment- the smell in the rickety winding staircase up to their floor, Easter egg hunts in the courtyard, sleeping in my grandfather's room and his radio, him giving me a book about wild animals there, for some reason I was fascinated by the page on dingos, the big old door, the v. v. narrow corridor to the bathroom with hundreds of old bottles of shampoo and bath stuff everywhere, heaping white sugar into little plain yoghurt pots for dessert in the kitchen, my parents would never have let me do that...

Their house in the country- holding still while my grandmother put lotion on my enormous mosquito bites (I used to swell up like a balloon), playing dressing up in the playroom, hiding in the curtains, "boating" on the lake with a paddling pool (punctured...), huge thunderstorms in the night, hauling things up trees to make treehouses with my cousins, rose jam and chocolate in my bowl in the morning, apple fights in the orchard. Oh and I'd always find English books I'd left behind there the last summer, so I had something to read under the covers at night.

My other grandparents' house is smaller and darker, but still had quite a lot of rooms- so I remember people coming to stay, being turfed out from under my grandfather's big desk, it also had a lovely tobacco smell (I love all the different smells in these places), the larder down a little flight of stairs my cousins and I would push each other into, I always had the same room and it always had the same ornaments and things, and the spider toilets (from the beginning of the stay to the end I'd take note of exactly where the creatures were and if I couldn't see them I'd send my dad in to find them).

Aaand my great grandmother's house....v. old, v. rambly and miles away from any town. Huge spiders. Woke up to find one inching its way up my sheets when I was six and the phobia kicked off. We went all around, up to the farms and through the river, and there was also a little house which we redecorated. I used to leave behind little diaries and I found them again recently...I think it's French. Had no idea how to write it properly. Hmm and also reading No Exit for the first time there, made me cry.

scaryteacher Thu 03-Nov-11 08:52:46

Gran and Gramps house: outside lav; no bathroom; washing at the sink in the kitchen in the morning; no central heating; sleeping under sheets, blankets and a massive eiderdown; the guzunder; love; happiness; Gramps eating his yorkshire before the roast; having to be quiet for the 1pm news on the radio.

Nana's: no fridge; milk kept in the cupboard; neat as a pin; shiny lino with rugs; it being sooo cold that there was ice on the inside of the window; no central heating; outside lav and no bathroom until I was about 13; no TV; playing draughts; eating plum pie (yeuch), rhubarb crumble (double yeuch) both made withotu sugar and lumpt custard; butterscotch angel delight over tinned pears with dessicated cocnut on top (triple yeuch); my little brother getting more sausages and bacon than I did in the morning as he's a boy; washing being done in a boiler and then mangled (didn't do my jeans any good) and hung out; metal hot water bottle and freezing sheets.

reckoner Thu 03-Nov-11 08:54:28

What a lovely thread.

Playing with my cousins at my gran's flat. Using bits of fabric and nets to create a fashion show.

My gran's basement. She had no fridge. It was chilly and crammed with food.

Rabbits in my grandad's outhouse. Fussing them. Then one day walking in to him slaughtering one sad

Kittens. And my grandad rubbing them gently on his cheek going 'awww'.

Fetching coal with my gran from the shed.

New year dinners with my family at gran's flat. Playing cards. My uncle cheating and everyone having a huge laugh.

A little plastic Virgin Mary in my gran's spare room. It was filled with water from Lourdes and it glowed in the dark. I cried and cried when having a sleepover as I as so scared of Virgin Mary.

My gran making mash (my favourite food) and it tasted wrong. I asked if she had put salt in it. She added more. And more. And then it was horrible. It turned out she had made Smash and of course it didn't taste the same...

My gran pouring a drink of lemonade. I pulled the glass away as I thought it was full. Lemonade all over the floor smile

LottieJenkins Thu 03-Nov-11 08:55:45

I remember going to Grannies house, she would have to shut her grumpy collie dog away. We would have Sunday afternoon tea around a huge table. Triangular sandwiches and those round marshmallow cake things with coconut on top!!

gethelp Thu 03-Nov-11 08:59:21

You've made me cry.

gethelp Thu 03-Nov-11 09:04:39

My parents and parents in law love my children so much and it makes me feel so grateful that they'll have great memories and feelings of love and security. My great-grandma had a farm and I have brilliantly clear memories of the most dangerous, scary and wonderful times. Thanks for all the love.

akaemmafrost Thu 03-Nov-11 09:07:32

Pictures of Jesus and Mary. She was a staunch catholic.
A proper tea pot, tea made fresh from leaves with strainer etc
An iron that could be heated in the fire! We were fascinated by it.
A kitchen that had not changed since the 1930's.
The constant slight smell of gas and toast.
Geese in the shared back garden, they belonged to the neighbour and went for everyone who came out to hang out washing.
The Star Newspaper, she had it delivered
Photos of all her Grand kids.
Irish music, Fields of Athenry that kind of thing.
Bingo and Cherry pop at the local Working Mens Club.
Her doing high kicks and dancing with us in her sixties

She and my parents were estranged later in life and that affected my relationship with her unfortunately. Looking back the arguments were NOTHING and not really her fault at all, without going into too much detail. I was mean't to go and see her one week and I didn't go, just too bloody lazy, she died two days afterwards. I have such regret and sadness about that.

RalphGnu Thu 03-Nov-11 09:10:07

My grandparents' house was the best place in the world when I was a child.

The faint lingering smell of pipe tobacco and Imperial leather soap. The way the house would fill with the smell of Yorkshire puddings and roast beef. The warmth and laughter. Long summer evenings playing games on the mossy lawn. Going to bed first and my Grandpa bringing the hostess trolley into the bedroom so I could have a 'midnight feast'.

Sitting in the dining room playing board games on cold winter nights with the airing cupboard doors open to let off heat from the water tank and the smell of Stardrops my Gran used to wash everything in.

Just perfect. I cried when My Gran sold the house. I walk past it every now and then and am so glad the present owners have kept the gardens in such good order.

TipOfTheSlung Thu 03-Nov-11 09:14:23

The (not so secret) passageway that went out from the cupboard under the stairs

home made lemonade in glasses with purple flowers on
home made fudge

picking fruit in the garden

the stone paddling pool

wind up toys, penguin and babies, down the slope between the kitchen and the breakfast room

Feeling like a princess walking down the stairs

It's now now an old people home sad

Raahh Thu 03-Nov-11 09:17:21

Aww, i love this thread. My paternal grandparents lived in the same terraced house for 70 years - until I was 6, we lived in the next street.

I practically lived there- so many memories.
They had an indoor loo (big luxury where we were!)
My gran's apple pie, which had gorgeous flaky pastry (never told my mum I prefered it to hersgrin)
The button box (funny how many of us remember those!)
Their house always smelled of Palmer Violets (My grandpa was a rep for Palmer and Harvey- we got a LOT of free sweets!)
watching fuzzy cine-films of my sister and I in the front parlour (don't know why we called it that- wasn't like there was a back one!). Grandpa was always filming us, and recording us singing. He loved to listen to the tapes when he got older. In typical sulky teenage fashion, I used to hate this. i regret that now, as i realise how much it meant to him, especially after granny died.

The knitted loo roll cover- was a bit spooky actually.

The photo of my dad in the parlour- aged about 18 months old, with a mass of golden curls and clutching a giraffe. i wish I knew where that picture was- as DD2 now looks EXACTLY like that!

And Imperial leather and bryl cream.

My maternal granny lived in a flat with purple swirly curtains. She was always sewing- she used to make teddy bears. Her bathroon always smelt of Cote L'aimant. Actually, it still does! I used to love staying with her- she used to let me stay up and watch 'Dynasty'grin

Raahh Thu 03-Nov-11 09:18:55

Oh, and my grandpa's pipe tobacco- despite my utter loathing of smoking- the smell of his meersham pipes and his tobacco was lovelysad

LifeOfKate Thu 03-Nov-11 09:21:55

This is a lovely thread smile I'm quite sad that I don't have memories like these!
My mother's parents died when she was a child and My dad's mother also died when he was a child. So I just have one grandad. Sadly after his wife died, he became a bit of a hoarder so my overiding memory is going to stay with him and my mother sitting in the living room sobbing because the house was so awful and full of stuff and unclean and it would take hours to clean/tidy enough to be habitable. He is still alive and still in the same house, but thankfully my aunt and her family now live with him so it's kept under control. I'm not particularly close to him, so won't share any more stories as it's a little depressing!

Psammead Thu 03-Nov-11 09:22:10

From my Grandmother (no grandfather on that side):

A cupboard full of Mr. Kipling cakes. Especially bakewells, french fancies and those chocolate sponge things with a disc of choc on top that you could peel off.

The gentle sound of screeched swearwords when the firealarm that she had positioned over the hob went off inexplicably once again.

Black bun bags full of easter eggs or christmas presents.

The heady scent of dog and fags.

Tons of pictures of the family in mismatched, garish frames dotted around.

Her laughing whenever anyone seemed to be taking things too seriously.

Playing with her carousel ash tray.

Garden full of holes that the bloody dog dug.

My uncle who still lived at home demanding his dinner.

The huge amount of tack on every shelf. It was like a treasure trove.

The sickly sweet smell of God knows what in the loo.

Dirty jokes.

Sing songs.

Her glass dining table that I was so scared of breaking.

Clutter, noise, mess, chaos, happiness.

From my grandfather and grandmother:





Dancing trophies from years ago

From earlier days, view of Oxo tower and a dingy fishtank

From later days, pull cords and emergency buzzers everywhere

Tea without end


The market where my grandfather worked for one of his jobs and how he came to life there

My grandmother sitting or laying on the sofa and never speaking

The sofa throw with tassles I used to plait

Raahh Thu 03-Nov-11 09:22:17

And watching Deanna Durban films- my gran loved her.

I could go on all day......

CumpyGrunt Thu 03-Nov-11 09:23:41

The big raspberry bush in Grandpa's back garden.

The black & white telly.

High tea at 3 o clock on Sundays with all the little cakes & the silver teapot.

His homemade jams & pickles & chutneys Done in the big shiny copper pan that hung on the wall in the breakfast room.

The cassettes of opera he used to listen to.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Thu 03-Nov-11 09:49:35

My maternal GPs were a strange couple. My GM had schizophrenia so me and my sister would spend a good amount of time on each visit looking for the people who were talking about Nan. Otherwise we'd spend an hour or so rubbing vaseline into her legs and nipping to the corner shop to get her 10 weights.
Nan would let me light her cigs from the age of about 6 shock.
Grandad thought it was a treat to take either me or my sister to Caters to buy some eels. Not both of us, just one. When we got home we would watch him kill them and gut them and boil them. I used to think myself lucky if I didn't have to go, although there was a greater chance you would be given some eels. It was a tricky path to tread. He also liked cooking heads and trotters.

My grandfathers both died before I was born, so no memories of them.

My maternal grandmother we very rarely saw, but what I do remember:-

The old fashioned sweet shop she ran, which smelt of mints and chocolate
Her conservatory, which contained a water tank and smelled of marigolds
A sitting room which was very quiet and very brown
A mysterious door on the first floor of the house - I never knew what was behind it - I found out years later, when my uncle inherited the house that it was a door to stairs leading to the top floor I never even knew existed!

My paternal grandmother we used to go and stay with every summer. I have so many memories of her house:-

Her "fizz" cupboard - a small dark oak cupboard in which she kept her alcoholic drinks, and the soda syphon (hence the fizz)
Her grandmother clock which chimed on the hour and half hour (I have that clock now!)
A set of melamine picnic ware in two shades of green, which my sister and I played with, giving our dolls tea parties etc
The "baths" which were three plastic washing up bowls, red, yellow and blue, which we took into the garden and played with using water.
Her kitchen cabinet (she didn't have a fitted kitchen) which contained a rocket shaped sugar shaker. I would be given the job of pounding the sugar in a pestle and mortar before it went into the sugar shaker
The "neddy door" which was my grandmother's back door, where you could just open the top part if you wanted
One of those things you hang over the door with the coloured plastic strips hanging from it to keep the flies out when you have the door open
Her pots of Ponds cold cream and elaborate brush and mirror set on the dressing table
A lovely picture of a view looking down to the sea in a limed oak frame
Pots of hydrangeas in the back garden (the pots were wooden, and painted blue)
The sundial and fruit trees in the back garden
A huge fabric sun umbrella in red, blue, green and yellow, also a small Japanese paper parasol which my grandmother used on the beach
Seagulls (my grandmother lived on the Kent coast)
The coal bunker, on which our beach shoes used to be placed to dry after a day at the beach
Reggie the grocer, who delivered groceries in a van every week
The next door neighbour Mrs Priest, whose house was called "Flamingo" and had two plastic flamingoes in the garden. It also had a sunken bath, and a conservatory with wind chimes. Her garden had a pond with a wooden bridge over it. Mrs Priest sometimes used to stand at the door of her conservatory and lob a couple of Milky Way bars over the wall for myself and my sister. They were always Milky Way, never anything else.
Runner beans - my grandmother grew them in her garden so we often had them at lunchtime
My grandmother singing (The Keel Row was a particular favourite)
A little saying she often came out with - "What noise annoys a noisy oyster most? A noisy noise annoys a noisy oyster most!"

My grandmother died in 1983 at the age of 93 (I was 21 then) but I still miss her, and my best childhood memories are all of time spent with her.

ProtectandSurvive Thu 03-Nov-11 10:01:04

Radio Humberside. Nicotine stained walls and ceiling. Coughing. Smoke. Yorkshire pudding..massive. Sweet sherry..."medicine", laughs, outside toilet, pantry still with "golden raising powder", Camp coffee essence, apple pies, coconut and jam tarts, freezing bedrooms, scary old doll, bucket in the bedroom (!), naughty jokes, hugs from Grandad, overgrown back garden with millions of snails.

Woodlands Thu 03-Nov-11 10:01:58

I'm so lucky in that my grandparents still live in the house they lived in when I grew up (and where my mum grew up, for that matter!). The smells and sounds are still pretty much the same. Recently I was there for a weekend with 14-month-old DS and it was lovely to see him crawling round, exploring the house and garden and playing with the same toys that generations of children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren have played with (the toy box still smells the same). I can't quite bear the idea of them not being there any more.

RIZZ0 Thu 03-Nov-11 10:04:00

Ah good OP Chaos.

-Homemade fudge
-The noisy grandfather clocks which scared me a bit when I was in bed
-My nanny's hair nets, she had long red hair until she died at 92
-My dad always whispering to me that she dyed it with tea or something!
-Her coal bunker outside where the brick walls were painted and somehow kept white
-Being bathed in her Belfast sink

mamasmissionimpossible Thu 03-Nov-11 10:04:45

double deckers and sweets after we had visited them
Earl Grey tea leaves
Homemade Gravy
calling me 'locket' as a nn
fish and chips at a local restaurant
Grandpa's shed and tools
Playing rummikub as a family, Grandma mostly winning smile
Their huge garden on a hill, which led onto farmland, great for running down!

and for my mum's parents:
Full cream jersey milk on my bran flakes (yum!)
The sound of the sea whilst going to sleep (they lived on the seafront)
Orange and Pinapple squash with picnincs
Granny's stash of polo mints
a myriad of bottles of half used nail polish
'Tuck' from Grandpa - a weekly chocolate treat from the local shop
100's of back copies of woman's own that Granny saved for me
The rock pools in front of their house and looking for crabs/fish

Happy days! smile

Funnily enough I was thinking about this the other day.

Plastic disposable rainhats

The smell of Grandad's Pipe

Chocolate biscuits

Home made Coconut tarts (yum)

A glass cabinet with ornaments in it

Very uncomfortable sofas and chairs

Nylon sheets

Twin tub washing machine and a mangle

My Grandad's dentures floating in a beaker of steredent (I was terrrified of them)

Grandadma's housecoats and tabards

Playing in the park behind their house

Picking strawberries on their allotment

The smell of Polish

Home perms

storminateacup10 Thu 03-Nov-11 10:12:43

my Italian nonna:
- smell of camphor (like mothballs, but smells nicer) when opening her wardrobes
- prettily self-embroidered guest hand towels in bathroom, unfailingly, every time someone was visiting
- towers and mountains of freshly laundered sheets, towel, blankets etc all meticulously arranged in her linen cupboard...no fitted sheets, only flat ones which were enormous and she ironed herself (mad)
- her top loading archaic washing machine which always looked liked it was in imminent danger of leaking
- her legendary pumpkin gnocchi mmm..
- my grandma standing on a great slab of wood when she ironed - her iron was well dodgy and from the late 60's, and had to earth - basically a death trap - so theory was that if it shorted whilst she ironed, the wooden board would save her life. hmmm...scared the crap out of us.
- the sound of her walking stick as it tapped down the marble tiled hallway
- her lovely framed photos of all my rellies
- her tightly permed salt and pepper hair and the lovely leathery/talcy smell of her
- her hilarious furry beret which looked like a teacosy on her head!

oh I miss her - wish she had met my daughter...just writing these memories down has brought tears to my eyes sad

my Greek yaya:
- her little votive candles and Greek icons in her bedroom, which she made sure were lit all day
- another hilarious furry beret smile
- brushing her waist length grey hair before putting it up into a bun every morning
- awesome cooking
- jumping up on her in my plastic gorilla mask to scare the bejeesus out of her (worked)
- teaching me to count to ten in Greek...i never did pick Greek up after she died

sadly never knew my granddads...

BornSicky Thu 03-Nov-11 10:21:10

ham sandwiches - properly nice ham on white bread. never seemed to make any difference to grandma that I was a vegetarian - she always, always made them.

the football pools - werne't allowed to talk during the football results and grandpa used to sit there very focused on the tv and his little pools card.

daffodils - the garden was full of them and every visit we went out and picked a bunch.

willow pattern - crockery, tiles and all sorts. it was blue and white everywhere in the kitchen.

strange relics - my grandpa was a sailor and spent huge chunks of his life in the far and middle east. they were odd sculptures, pictures and relics everywhere. they were more than a little spooky.

at my other grandparents...

the allotment - endless hours down there with my grandad growing and picking veggies.

the outside loo - there wasn't an indoor one - it was in a shed/lean to in the garden. always cold and full of spiders.

knitting - everywhere. nan always had a project on the go and it was always beautiful stuff.

weak, milky tea - a lovely treat on cold sunday.

gigglepin Thu 03-Nov-11 10:32:32

Sunday roast taking all day to prepare and smelling delish, then tasting delish.

an old knife without a handle that she used to peal tatties

watching the darling buds of may on a sunday evening while eating wedges of bread that you cut yourself with left over chicken from the roast.

Digestive biscuits with butter & jam on them.
Grapes in a bowl. Strawberried with a cakeing of sugar in a cracked bowl in the fridge.
salad with croquet potatoes.
Going to the corner shop for her for the news of the world, the people newspaper, 20 consulate cigs & a pint of milk (glass bottles with silver lid)

She was SO kind, and loved me SO much, i felt happy, comfortable, warm and secure with her. She had nowt, no money, nothing posh and yet she gave everything. I LOVED my nanna. She died 11 years ago at the end of this month, i miss her terribly.
She was the biggest positive influence in my early life, i would not be where i am had it not been for her.
sad having a little cry now sad

LaCiccolina Thu 03-Nov-11 10:32:59

I loved their house, was a big farm. They had several dogs and chickens and geese as guard geese (the dogs were pets instead). I vividly remember wanting to be treated as one of the dogs and crawling round the house with a scarf as a tail, yapping and barking....

Nan didn't bat an eye lid and fed me lunch on the floor. She just 'got' silly games and didn't freak ever. I still miss her.

charlieandlola Thu 03-Nov-11 10:36:37

Faint smell of gas from the live gas grill

Lucozade bottles wrapped in orange cellophane, always served warm.

nylon sheets and cellular blankets

cold water in the bathroom

Quality Street yellow penny shaped toffees

my grandmother being a miserable old cow and our visits being done under sufference.

MollyTheMole Thu 03-Nov-11 10:49:04

The smell of lamb / pork etc in the kitchen ALL OF THE TIME

Taking me window shopping to all sorts of places (window rather than real because we had no money but it was still great)

Sugar butties

A maiden in the kitchen on a pulley type thing,I remember the ceiling looked so high up (and the clothes always smelled of lamb/other meaty smelling meats [fond smile]

walking to the local shops where Nana would always buy me a choc cake from the baker and get a bag of scraps from the chippy

Proper cooked breakfasts, with the egg all crispy on the outside because it had been cooked in lard

Cuddling up to their two dogs

Grandads cup that he never washed thich with brown tea stains. Nana scrubbed it one day and he wasnt pleased grin

A cat ornament that I loved to just look at, it was a "mum" cat with two babies attached by a chain on the mum cat. Ive been hunting for one at boot sales etc but have never seen one sad Id be over the moon if I ever managed to get my hands on one

I miss my Nana so much

Jaffa cakes and Pop in the bottles you used to take back to get a penny back!

And Nana chain smoking!

Fifteen blankets on the bed with all my clothes on too as it was effing cold!

A whole room full (or so it felt to me) of Agatha Christie books... I still adore a good murder mystery 30 years later!

Unbelievable food. She really was a "chuck it all in and see" but by god it was always fantastic.

smile at the memories.

OH GOD!!! just saw up there ^^ the Football Pools. We were all addicted!

witchyhills Thu 03-Nov-11 11:02:39

Just love
They loved us so much
Crying now

pixipie151 Thu 03-Nov-11 11:03:04

Great question!

the hit of of overcooked veg mixed with cigarette smoke and damp air from the top load tumble dryer as you walked through the door.

Black plastic sofa with nylon flowery cushions.

Pears soap.

wearingpurple Thu 03-Nov-11 11:11:57

I thought my nan's house was heaven on earth - a country cottage surrounded by fields.

Porch with loads of miniature cacti on shelves.

Living room with a fully integrated bar with plastic pineapple ice container and optics on the wall grin. Weirdly, they hardly drank at all. We would watch Crossroads and 321 and other ITV stuff never allowed at home while Grandad had half a cider and we had shandy.

Kitchen had a breakfast bar with high stools - thought this was the last word in cool - and placemats with pictures of the harbour at Tenby.

A 'verandah' (corrugated plastic lean-to) out the back where we did colouring in and listened to the radio (Ed Stewart or DLT) while rain drummed on the roof.

Freezing bedrooms with candlewick bedspreads - nan had a Teasmade and would let us have a cup of v v sweet milky tea with a digestive in the mornings in her bed.

She had a treat tin full of sweets and cake. An aviary full of budgies. A pond with a rockery that our Fisher Price people used to regularly drown in.

Wow. It was my dream house.

TheBrideofFrankenstein Thu 03-Nov-11 11:21:30


- white bread, proper butter and homemade raspberry jam for tea
- lemon merangue pie for Sunday lunch
- My Grandad going up in the loft the first day of our stay to get all my mum and uncles old toys down
- My Grandad made us stilts one summer- they were awesome
- Going with my grandad to empty his traps and getting a carrot from the allotment on the way home
- My Gran's amazing button tin
- The electric organ
- They had a croquet set and we used to make a dog gymkhana in the garden using the hoops and garden canes and "train" the dog to go over it.


- Radio 3, Countdown and Corrie
- My grandad singing a song called "Suzie-Anna"
- Going to the working mens club to play bingo
- Shep the dog
- Going to sit on my nan's bed in the morning and chatting to her while she had her tea
- Doing the crossword with my nan
- Being called "our" BofF

I had awesome Grandparents. I was so lucky.

LadyWord Thu 03-Nov-11 11:24:39

Ooohh - the fly! there was always a buzzing fly.

The dark furniture and musty carpets and tick-tocking clock in the front room, where time went by about 40 times slower than in real life.

My grandpa's mineral collection that we were allowed to look at. And a drawer in the smallest bedroom full of interesting old junk.

Horrendous, filthy kitchen with loads of crumbly out-of-date packets marked in shillings and pence, home-grown veg lying around mouldering and a washing up brush at least 100 years old.

Rock-hard, lumpy beds with blankets instead of duvets.

I used to be so jealous of the lovely french windows and porch out onto the lawn, which my grandpa didn't ever use. The windows were blocked by the telly and you had to go out of a side door. I would sit there and fantasize about how if it was my house, I'd throw them open.

Recently I've realised that close to my grandpa's house were dozens of cool things we could have visited, forests, zoos, museums, caves etc. We never did. We just went for the same local walks every time and sat in the front room.

NervousNelly Thu 03-Nov-11 11:29:53

Oh I am feeling a bit emotional now. So many memories, where to start?

My paternal grandmother died before I was born. My paternal grandfather I don't remember much of, other than his nicotine stained fingers. He lived in a flat above his grocer shop. I don't remember much, but my Dad told me a hilarious story the other day about their Saturday boy, who cycled about 3 miles to work; and GD had put 3 bricks in his bag one day as a prank :D. I love hearing these stories, and must start asking my Dad more about his childhood etc.

My maternal grandparents we saw all the time, and my Nana was the most amazing person. She was so obsessed with us all! Spoilt us rotten, and she always told me how clever I was and that I'd be the first in the family to go to University - I was. I remember

Scotch pancakes toasted with butter oozing off them. When I stayed with her on a school day she'd lay all my clothes on the radiator so they were warm, then come in to the room in the morning with the pancakes, tea and hand me my clothes so I could get dressed without getting cold!

Going to all the shops - the butcher, greengrocer, fishmonger. She'd always buy Tongue!

Cooking - all the time. Food was always special, she was an amazing cook. Steaks or lemon sole. I remember making homemade chicken maryland quite often, complete with fried bananas. And she made the most amazing mashed tatties, which I still try to replicate. Oh and her Creme Caramel was amazing grin.

Whiskey - both of them drank quite a lot of it!

Their rug in front of the TV. It was a hairy thing, probably nylon but we all loved it and used to lie on it.

Podding peas grown in the garden. Alongside these beautiful sweet peas. My grandfather was an amazing gardener. The garden also had two ponds, complete with fish and water lillies. We used to go in all the time which made him a bit cross!

The smell of Roger and Gallet soap. The knitted loo roll cover (a bit like a bride in an enormous dress). The airing cupboard which always smelled gorgeous. The utility room with the enormous Belfast sink, where Nana used to hand wash all her smalls!

Me and my sister lying in twin beds in the front bedroom with Nana singing to us; or our favourite thing ever, 2 koala bears they had brought back from Australia, with a wind-up bit that played Waltzing Matilda. We loved those, and I hope my Mum still has them somewhere.

My grandfather finding 50p's behind my ear.

Actually - I remember everything. The pattern on the carpet, the paintings my grandfather did (two of which are now in my Lounge). The upstairs "loft" where we held Christmas every year, and the paper streamers that stayed up all the time. The spare wardrobe upstairs as there were so many clothes. The button box grin. The tallboy (though I'm still not actually sure what piece of furniture that was!). The Siamese cat. How the house and garden were always immaculate, but no one ever told us off for making a mess. Hospital corners on the beds. Blankets with a satin binding. The house was always roasting (oh how I miss that now).

But most of all, I remember the cuddles, the kind words, and the unconditional love sad. But also, smile for having these memories at all, that makes me a very lucky person.

Wow, I didn't know I missed my Nana so much, she died about 25 years ago.

Step Thu 03-Nov-11 11:40:45

Just spent the last half hour with tears in my eyes......

Fresh cakes
Real fires
Being properly cold in winter
Being spoiled
Being loved and praised for anything and everything
Getting into bed with grandparents when really cold
Vicks on my chest
Hard toilet paper
Hot chocolate before bed
Saying my prayers
The smell of the bakelite phone.
As much lemonade as I wanted
My Dad's old toys
Listening to them about "how things were"
Burned baked beans (how the hell that's possible still defeats me)
Rusty everything in the garage
Perfect gardens

Being made to feel great.

Sitting on the back bit of the sofa playing hairdressers with my grandad. He had a comb, plastic scissors and this weird shampoo that didn't need washing out and I loved the smell of it.

Going to the arcades in the summer and probably spending alot of money there!

Sleeping in the spare room but my gran had to remove the creepy china dolls first.

Drinking tea in bed in the morning which my grandad had made for us.

Taking the dog for a walk across the field and playing I spy with my grandad.

Going for a walk to the village with my gran and she'd always point out the witches house (was probably a v normal house in reality!)

Playing rummikub with my gran and she always let me win.

localcrackpot Thu 03-Nov-11 12:00:24

Feeling very lucky (considering I'm nearly 30) that my grandparents (x4) are still there, in their houses quite nearby. I'd see them more but am too pregnant to manage much right now. When the little one pops out we'll be doing some visiting of great-grandparents smile

MissPenteuth Thu 03-Nov-11 12:09:16

Watching my Granny put on face powder, and looking through her jewellery box.

My Grandpa's old cars; driving down to Spar in one of them once and getting ice creams.

Rhubarb and gooseberries in the garden, and climbing over the wall at the bottom of the garden for a walk in the forest. Horses in the fields.

Them calling eachother "Mother" and "Father" with a North-of-Scotland burr.

AbsofCroissant Thu 03-Nov-11 12:28:12

A colleague brought in quality streets the other day and it reminded me so much of my paternal grandparents. Other things, the smell of my grandmother's face powder, amazing deserts, the soda stream and granny having G&Ts every evening, Granddad's piano (which is mine now, lucky me!), the softness of granny when we hugged her ...

For my maternal grandparents, my grandfather died when I was young but I still remember him, and his "pouf" that I loved to sit on, him pretending to be knight rider. Granny was central to the family and over fed everyone, bossed everyone around (including giving instructions to the doctor, moments before she died), her massive collection of reader's digests, the amazing tropical garden.

A couple of years ago I went back to the area where they lived for the first time since granny died, and it was awful. I miss them all so much.

WinterIsComing Thu 03-Nov-11 12:29:55

Button box
No central heating
Outside privy still there from the old days.
The front room which was rarely used by the family. I could never understand it - small 3-bed house in which four children were raised and they left an entire room unused!
Grandmother without her teeth - terrifying and funny in equal measures.
Sheets on the bed instead of duvets.
The smell of kippers frying for breakfast.
Ancient game of Ludo and Snakes and Ladders.
One bedroom was an actual boxroom where the stairs cut in. It was tiny.
Vegetables boiled to buggery.
Cheese and potato pie.

Absolute unconditional love. We were so treasured.



Always a huge pot of tea set on a tray in front of Nan who was invariably lounging on the corner of the sofa.

Melamine(? I think) beakers - lots of different colours, all with white dots over them.

Grandads shed (wasn't allowed in it as it was 'dangerous' so would stand in the doorway to talk to him or call him to the house for tea) which always had the radio playing in it. His greenhouse. I only ever buy 'on the vine' tomatoes now and always sniff them, thinking of him. Often green tomatoes on the windowsill, ripening.

Grandfather clock in the hallway that marked the quarter, half and hours.

Laying in bed and the sheets, blankets and duvet weighing down on me SO heavy and so comforting. Hot water bottle in the winter. A chamber pot under the bed!

Nan eating coconut ice, frys chocolate cream, chocolate brazils, and usually a cream cake in the afternoon (with lots of tea, naturally. With about 8 sugars in it (not exaggerating!)). She had a sweet tooth that she wasn't afraid of indulging!

Grandad boiling trotters on the hob. Telling me how tasty they were, and 'good for you' (hey, he's still going at 88, Nan died when she was 63 so probably he's on to something!). Nan cooking massive hams/gammon joints in the pressure cooker.

The french doors which seemed SO amazing to me, given that I lived in a flat. The rockery. The massive fir tree that I always seemed to find tiny birds eggs on the floor near in spring. Would bring them in and keep them in front of the fire thinking they might hatch.

Grandad with his reel to reel tape recorder, shelves of tapes, ALL of them big band music.

A HUGE cracker full of toys one christmas, bought from Macro, or Peacocks (they had a corner shop, and so could buy unusual stuff at the wholesalers).

Sitting on the doorstep of the shop whilst Nan worked behind the counter/till and helping myself sporadically to penny sweets.

So many more. My grandparents were so dear to me (I lived with them for a while, too, when my parents split up and Mum ran off to the south coast to work at Pontins!) and I just felt so loved there.

Oh, and watching agog as Nan applied her pan stick. Such a particular smell to it. And greasy!

LaFilleSurLePont Thu 03-Nov-11 12:37:12

My 'papa'(mother's father)

I don't have that many memories of him.He died when I was 9,and my visits were relatively brief,but I do remember having a glass of diet Irn Bru when visiting him,and that he always,always had Mr Kipling's French Fancies.

Playing with his walking stick.

That I loved the spare room with its ornaments, a carthorse, a fisherman, Grouse whiskey bottle holder,and a few others.

Taking the soup/stew etc my grandmother made for him,they'd separated,but she still liked to make sure that he was fed,and they were only four flats apart,and being given a Milky Way in return.

My other grandfather died soon after I was born,so I've no memories of him.

My grandmother (Father's mother)

That she was always making soup when I got there. And we had a bowl for lunch,and she was usually making bacon sandwiches too.

My cousin,who's the same age, was usually there too,and she'd chase the two of us around with her false teeth.

Reading my older cousin's annuals while there.

Watching Dot and The Kangaroo. And Watership Down.

That we always ended up with at least half a dozen other relatives visiting at the same time,and several family friends.

Going to the shop around the corner which had the best ginger beer I've ever tasted.

Playing in the playpark outside her home. There was a part that was always flooded, and we used to float around on wooden boards,with sticks for oars.

She developed alzheimers while I was still relatively young so that's all I remember really.

Silence except for the tic toc and chime of the grandfather clock

the most amazing model train track in the cellar with loads of railway memorabilia

spiral, cast iron staircase that went nowhere, in the garden

minipie Thu 03-Nov-11 12:43:41


warm towels - granny put them in the dryer while we were in the bath
exploring in the raspberry cage and greenhouse
eating peas in the pod straight off the plant
the electric fence at the bottom of the garden
sheeps wool for granny's dodgy foot
hideous reclining armchair in mustard swirl pattern, and brown tweedy sofas
radio 4 on all the time (now my mum is just the same, and I'm getting there..)
condensation on the metal windows, and the special condensation sponge
plum tree outside the back door
smell of milky instant coffee
going mushrooming in autumn
picking primroses in spring (only one allowed from each plant)
nylon fold up shopping bags, with a leather case
constantly having to look for spectacles
doing maths and logic puzzles as a game (granny was a maths teacher)
electric plate warmer
floral bedlinen
the car journey there

<feels a bit weepy>

littlestressy Thu 03-Nov-11 12:48:29

Red carbolic soap with its funny smell.
Nans aprons which went round her middle.
Grandad's greenhouse full of tomatoes and cucumbers.
Going to the corner shop for penny chews and Grandad's rizlas.
Sheets instead of duvet, hot water bottle in bed every night.
Games of cluedo, snakes and ladders and a funny spinning top to collect buttons.
Nan teaching me how to knit.
Homemade chicken stew with dumplings.
Watching road runner cartoons on some amazing projector cinema that Grandad set up.
Toast every lunchtime with various toppings.
<Having a little cry now>

WinterIsComing Thu 03-Nov-11 12:49:01

My Grandfather used to take me with him on errands and would stop at a lovely pub with a garden for a swift pint. On returning he'd tell his wife that he was late back because he'd "met an angel"

Which reminds me of one of my Grandmother's relatives back in Ireland who had a DH who was a problem drinker. One night she and her sisters organised themselves to follow him back home through the fields hiding in ditches, screaming and wailing like banshees and basically frightening the life out of the poor chap.

No Mumsnet then, but they coped grin

DuchessofMalfi Thu 03-Nov-11 12:52:17

Reading all your wonderful experiences with your grandparents has made me realise, yet again, what I missed out on with my grandparents. My mum's mum was a lovely lady, but really old and not very well. She died when I was 12. My dad's parents had little or no interest in me at all. Even though they only lived about 5/6 miles away, I hardly ever saw them. I think it was their choice, not our's. They just weren't interested. They had an older grandchild who was their favourite (my cousin) and by the time I came along, they just couldn't be bothered. I'm determined not to be like that when I have grandchildren.

Dollybird99 Thu 03-Nov-11 12:56:03

Things I remember are,

Making a camp out of the clothes horse and lots of blankets in my nan's front room with my brother.

Giggling so much in bed one night when I was staying because my nan passed wind that we had to get up again and have a cup of cocoa before we could go back to bed!

The smell of apple crumble and minced beef and onion pies (and overcooked vegetables).

So thankful to have my nana around still - love you nana.

racingheart Thu 03-Nov-11 12:58:08

4711 cologne
The paraffin heater in her conservatory. I loved the smell of it.
Playing with one of those balls on a strong that you swing from your ankles and jump over, on her concrete front drive.
Her saying 'sausages' with her false teeth taken out.

Other grandparents: the smell of creosote on their fence.
Garibaldi biscuits in a tin on top of the fridge.

LaFilleSurLePont Thu 03-Nov-11 12:59:24

My 'nana' (Mother's mother)

I grew up in a extended family,from about the age of four,which was fantastic.I loved it,and would like to raise my future children as part of an extended family too, so her house was my house and vice versa,but I'll include the time I spent with her while my parents were at work.

Making soup together.I swear Scottish people,or at least Glaswegians,have a soup obsession. And how she always kept a raw carrot for me because I loved to eat them,still do.

Baking cakes together,usually rock and fairy cakes. Also making tablet.

Cats,cats and more cats. We always had cats,usually several at a time,and we fed strays and rescued them, as soon as I could hold a bottle or eyedropper I was feeding kittens. We also took in pregnant stray cats,let them have their litter,get the mothers neutered,and found homes for them all. I loved always having kittens in the house. We had dogs,fish and hamsters too.

Being given whole sticks of raw rhubarb which I dipped into a paper bag of sugar,and ate.

Going to the Swallow cafe together where she had a coffee,and I had an ice cream float,usually ginger beer or cream soda.

Watching quiz shows together.Countdown,15-1,100% etc.

Making ginger cordial,I loved that stuff, it burned your throat it was so strong,but it was delicious,at New Year,and steak pie too.

Having tea or coffee together with a cake,usually a Danish pastry or gingerbread man in my case.

Her giving me pocket money so I could buy my comics every week.Dandy,Beano,Mandy and Judy,Bunty and Animals of Farthing Wood magazine.

Going into 'town' together.We walked into Glasgow together, and got a taxi back, we lived less than 15 minutes walk away from the city centre,and the first stop was always to buy me a new book, then usually M&S. And watching the street artists.

At weekends watching Channel 4 reruns of old shows. Munsters,Mork and Mindy,Happy Days, Lone Ranger etc.

Her buying me my first Tamagotchi,before I'd even asked for one.

Playing out in the back garden and her throwing me down a jam sandwich,or piece and jam, as we called it, like in the song,usually on plain bread.

Getting a double nougat from the ice cream van,with raspberry sauce.

Visiting the local shops,her in her rain hood with her trolley,where she knew everyone,and chatting to them.

Making the amazing lasagna recipe together, that she got from the Italian deli across the street. I wish I had it now.

Going home for lunch,as we lived not even ten minutes away from my first primary school. She'd have soup,again with the soup,sandwiches or egg in a cup waiting for me.

Once a week,on a Friday she'd collect me from school and treat me to a sticky bun.

Going to the cafe my mother was the manager of, where my nana also helped out at times, and chatting with the mounted police officers who reguarly passed by,and feeding their horses.

Going to the museums with her,especially the Transport museum and The Kelvingrove.

Getting bottles of Barrs drinks delivered,and being allowed to order the flavour of my choice.

Going for walks together.

Her taking me to the video store to rent videos every week. I almost always chose the same videos,Strawberry Shortcake,and an animated version of Dracula. I must have worn them out.

I'll stop now,though there are many more. She died in May this year,and I miss her so much.

It's amazing how many of my memories are food related.blush

OrmIrian Thu 03-Nov-11 13:00:20

A lot of your memories chaos are the same as mine - but of my parents' house. They are v old though. As am I grin

Ledbury granny (dad's mum) - living room smelled of cedar wood, scary barky little dog, long low-ceilinged dining room with shiny wooden floor and an engraving of the Canterbury pilgrims on the wall, dark study with Benin brasses hanging up that used to watch me, narrow box staircase and small wobbly-floored landing, ivory sewing box on a table that I was only allowed to play with under supervision, first edition copy of Struelpeter on a bookshelf that scared the bejaysus out of me all of one Easter visit, green enamel saucepans with leaves on the, being made to drink coffee and eat broad beans, being chased by geese in the back paddock when DB and I trid to take a short cut back to the house from the lane.

Malvern granny (mum's mum) - tiny 1930s bungalow with dry little garden, beautiful roses everywhere (mermaid climber and peace and princess elizabeth standards), little boy on a bird bath, path behind the herbaceous border that smelt sometimes when the gardener had disturbed the compost heap, smoked very very thin bacon, white bread cut fine, unsalted butter, lapsang souchong tea, knights castille soap, granny keeping her hairspray in the waste paper bin in her room in case the aerosols exploded grin, biy shiny sofa that we weren't allowed to touch with our fingers or wear shoes on, massive 'radiogram' with a mahogany case that I never heard used, ants on the lawn.

I'm sorry to those of you that i've saddened today.


notyummy Thu 03-Nov-11 13:03:28


Ticking of their Grandfather clock (which some utter bastard stole after the house was burgled....Grandad was staying with us at the time to get over the death of my nana. angry sad

Crossroads theme tune - nana watched it religiously.

Ryvita - her fovourite snack.

Grandad taking out his false teeth and gurning to make me smile.

The china piggy bank where they would save all their change for me so I could open it each time I visited and count it.

My grandad taking me to Peter Pan's Playground (Brighton) each time we visited. He would buy a couple of cans from the off license and watch me play, and then we would go into the arcade and play the penny falls machines.


Grandad died when I was born. Have vivid memories of Grandma though.

I shared a room with her when I stayed. She would get up early each morning and we would snuggle up in bed together and drink tea/coffee and eat digestive biscuits (so decadent!) and read her Readers Digest magazines.

She loved the The Archers. The theme tune makes me think of her.

She made us Lancashire hotpot to have for dinner on the first night every time we stayed. We would have it with pickled red cabbage.

chobbler Thu 03-Nov-11 13:03:42

whenever 'keeping up appearances' comes on I can hear Gran chuckling and the click her dentures made when they knocked together. It was the last time I saw her.

For many years every week going through her 'visiting' coats and handbags to retrieve the things she had left in them, I would go around the house and collect them all up and put them back in the dressing room, along with stray scarves and hats. I'd tip them on this magenta satin covered eiderdown, the bed was so tall when I was younger I had to take a run at it. The lipsticks went back onto the dressing table glass tray, same with compacts powders. I had to pile the medicine strips up for mum to sort out and I got to keep the money. The handbags all smelt the same inside as she used to spray a hankie with her scent, even the money smelt of it.

And the rows of shoes! she must have had thirty pairs.

My sister has some of her jewellery, you can still smell her perfume on it when you open the package, it takes you back thirty years in an instant.

My God do I wish I was as glamorous as she always seemed.

sommewhereelse Thu 03-Nov-11 13:04:53

smell of mothballs
boredom relieved by unpinning and repinning anti-macassars on the chair arms
great custard

It was much better when they visited us: endless games of scrabble with my grandmother punctuated my grandfathers snores

chobbler Thu 03-Nov-11 13:05:49

Thank youChaosTrulyReigns just thinking about those times has cheered me up enormously. I only hope my kids have such vivid memories of our parents in another thirty years.

sommewhereelse Thu 03-Nov-11 13:05:53

My DCs grandparents are much more fun and loving than mine were.

marssparklesdownonme Thu 03-Nov-11 13:07:24

My Nanny was always standing in front of the Rayburn in her flowery pinny.
She inevitably had some home knitted cardigan or jumper ready from Womans Weekly and it was waiting for me.
The huge pink hydraenga outside the back door with the battered gnome.
The huge black shed which always seemed to be full of interesting things.
Sorry blinking through the tears now.

My Granny and Grandad had a beautiful garden, lovingly tended by Grandad.
The box of battered toys that had been my Dad and aunties.
A box of small butter knives in a typical 1950's box with coloured plastic handles ; every family meal my cousins and I spent ages deliberating which to choose to eat with.

I'm lucky that at 42 I still have my 91 year old Grandad .

Hatwoman Thu 03-Nov-11 13:08:30

dancing (on my own) to the Sound of Music played on a crackly record player in a g-plan teak unit.

hiding from Uncle John (my wonderful step-grandad) inbetween 4 cypress trees and him always pretending not to know I was there

the smell of tomatoes in the greenhouse and the sound of the gravel on the greenhouse floor

the pottery rabbit and frog that lived in the rockery - sometimes being allowed to paint them when they had become all flakey

ovaltine and cheddar cheese biscuits

readers' digest

butter tartlets from the bero book

the feel of the rather odd woollen textured sofa

my grandma's wonderful charm bracelet

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 03-Nov-11 13:08:38

Granny M's: Fagsmoke, everything tasting faintly of fagsmoke, including the Sunday Roast
Tinned ravioli, Cadburys mini-rolls and a glass of milk
The smell of the bureau where we kept some toys in the bottom drawer - now have this in my house and it still has the faint smell (yes fagsmoke is in there!)
Mint imperials

Granny and Grandad's: Utter silence but for the ticking of the grandfather clock.
Smell of the garden shed - wood, mustiness, canvas/hemp sacking, oil, lawnmower smell combined.

marge2 Thu 03-Nov-11 13:12:20

Mum's lot

Playing with the pastry cutters in Grannie's hessian bag. Sneaking into Walpole Park through the back fence. Cross Spiders in the garden. The spooky cellar. My Uncle's baby shoes that Grannie still kept in the drawer. The Piano and gradad going mad at us cousins all playing chopsticks and playing with the pedals. Grandad shouting 'DOOOOR!' at us cousins.
The lovely warm coalfire in the living room. ( and me once sitting IN it cos I thought the stool was in front of it and it flipping wasn't - had to sit in a cold bath ! ) The 'Top Room' Grannies wonderful cooking. My Mum's old room.

Dad's lot

Fresh rolls on the back gate delivered daily from the baker. Eating watermelon on the balcony. Gradpops listening to Opera. Mosquitos. Swimming in the lake. The downstairs open bit with the big long creepy crawlies climbing on the walls and my baby brother crawling after a huge spider. The Rose garden. Sunburn. 30s decor. Citronella. The Italian version of 'It's a Knockout' on the TV. Aranciata. The big metal gates. Walking down to the village in the heat with the wonderful smell of Cyprus trees all around.

Happy Happy Happy Days

Splinterbottom Thu 03-Nov-11 13:15:25

Pink synthetic silk counterpanes on the beds, and crawling into bed in nana and grandad's room when we woke up in the morning.

A tupperware tub with biscuits/chocolate in and the idea of 'elevenses'.

Baking little cakes. Nana making marmalade.

Trying to crawl up grandad when he was sitting in his chair and boink him on the nose before he 'woke up'.

Sitting in the back garden on warm summer afternoons and watching ants scurrying over the shallow concrete steps.

Day trips out to Southport.

Playing patience and gin rummy in the evenings, and nana 'slipping into something more comfortable' (taking girdle off) every evening straight after tea.

schilke Thu 03-Nov-11 13:17:30

Cold downstairs loo
Coal fire
Grandstand on tv
Meat paste sandwiches and Battenberg cake

Hatwoman Thu 03-Nov-11 13:17:52

lovely thread - one day some of us will be GPs and hopefully we'll realise what huge potential there is for us to provide loving, fun environments that will fill our gcs with funny little detailed quirky memories. oooo I can't wait.

notyummy Thu 03-Nov-11 13:20:00

I can also remember watching the Morecambe and Wise Christmas special with them - and the famous McEnroe/Borg wimbledon final!

NoMoreWineForMeThen Thu 03-Nov-11 13:22:07

Ah did someone mention blankets with satin ribbon on the edges. I love those! Nan used to tuck me in really tight on the sofa bed with them when I stayed. I loved the weighty feeling of the blankets and the feel of the ribbon bit.

I stayed with her after an operation when I was about 20 and she tucked me in exactly the same as she used to do when I was a kid.

I still have a sneaking cheek rub with that ribbon trim whenever I find some. smile

watchoutforthatsnail Thu 03-Nov-11 13:25:07

Too many to mention, It was a wonderful house ( listed 15 century 'mansion' ) Had been a working farm ( so tons of farm equipt and barns and things to play in) Horses, lakes. Fields and fields.
And the aga, and the gas cooker standing right next to it smile And the massive formica topped kitchen table with the meat hook hanging from the beams above it.
The kitchen cupboards filled with royal tea cups, watching my grandmother in the kitchen when i should have been in bed, by looking in the mirror on the spiral stairs that reflected up by my door.
Breakfast with the postman.
The open fire in the living room and feeling like you couldnt breathe when it got too hot.
The joy of walking down the drive with either grandparents to collect the paper/look for duck eggs/collect conkers/pine cones.
The fear of needing a wee and having to use the downstairs loo in dec ( hallway was full of hanging turkeys)
Christmas around the huge ( 20 seater) table. The best christmas's i shall ever have.
ah - i miss them alot. I wish my grandmother was still around.

notyummy Thu 03-Nov-11 13:26:58

We have those blankets nomorewine! Inherited from my Nana/Grandad. Green with ribbon - and very warm. Only get ocasional use because mainly duvets now.

Very vauge memories of GRandad sneaking me to the shop to buy a lion bar.

Nana staring into space, she never got over losing her baby.

Cold damp squaler, nana spent most of her time at ouR house tbh, her house was unfit but it was where she lost her boy so she insisted on going home to sleep.

WinterIsComing Thu 03-Nov-11 13:29:20

Duchess sad <manly back-pat>

My own DC don't have anything like what I had but my future DGC - well. They will have the world on a plate as will yours smile

MrsE Thu 03-Nov-11 13:31:55

home made soup no matter what time of the day or night we arrived

Coal fire

trips to Whitley Bay to play on the slot machines

Being alllowed to play with my grandma's jewellry box

Mint imperials

Rag and Bone man

Watching wrestling every Sat afternoon with my grandma

White bread and Penguin biscuits, which we were never allowed at home for one set.

Coldest loo in the world and picking broad beans for the other. And my grandfather carrying on shooting (game, not people!) from his bedroom window, with the bed pushed up next to the window once he was too frail to get up much.

SpringHeeledJack Thu 03-Nov-11 13:32:53

oh gosh have got teary reading other people's- let's see if I can do mine without just dissolving or something

our nanna's:

smell of windfall apples
smell of Grandad's whisky
smell of facepowder
never ending toast plate
6 million jars of homemade jam
fresh bread on Sundays from Jewish baker's. With onions, and seeds on and everything (impossibly exotic to us)
Nanna playing her only party piece- Lullaby of the Leaves- AT FULL VOLUME
N&G whistling completely different songs in the same room at the same time
everything involving shrieking. Lots of it
beautiful lovely magical enchanted garden you could hide in
the bunch of keys for "the Labour 'All"
tobacco tins full of nails


fresh paint (can smell stairs up to the flat she moved out of about 35+ years ago
pipe smoke
gravy (they were the High Livers)
the feel of the artexy stuff in the hall
the pattern in the kitchen lino
the noise the boiler made in the bathroom- and the alarming WHOOOSH of flame
Granny off to listen "to my jazz" in the kitchen (obv too frivolous for Grandpa grin)
singing. Lots of singing. And scalding hot tea you could trot a mouse on. For seven year olds

my grandparents were my favourite people in the world

thanks fro the thread smile

AliceH123 Thu 03-Nov-11 13:36:01

the huge apple trees in the back garden that we used to climb.
buying penny chews from the local shops.
black peas? on bonfire night!

NoMoreWineForMeThen Thu 03-Nov-11 13:37:58

Notyummy, I'm jealous!

mrspear Thu 03-Nov-11 13:43:35

Old movies on the TV

Sausage, egg, bacon and chips for dinner - god i could eat this now blush

Very hot living room but a freezing loo and bathroom

Very loud TV - grand dad would never wear his hearing aids

War stories - never the horror stuff just about comrades and food - by Grand dad with nan being roped in for various parts!

An overwhelming feeling of being safe and loved.

Too hard now god i miss grand dad

pamelat Thu 03-Nov-11 13:47:18

I spent all the school holidays at my maternal grandparents with my cousins and only lost them 2 years back, miss them desperately .... the things I remember

Fried eggs on white "uncut" bread

The cubbyhole (cupboard under the stairs full of treats)

Being allowed to take the mattresses from the bed and make a slide down the stairs !!shock it was brilliant though.

Grandads whiskey jar full of coins

Chip shop chips late on a Saturday night (when they babysat) and being "allowed" to get out of bed at midnight and sneak down to share.

Grandma riding her bike up the lane, she used to take her leg over so that she was ready to stop and dismount all on one side, somehow?! More ladylike

Jamie, the springer spaniel. she would bring wet warm stones in her mouth and drop them in our knee to throw.

stripy wooden deckchairs

lots of things, and then sadly the bloody hospitals and illness at the end and their house changing to be a sad and neglected place, especially once grandma died.

Scary wooden faces/carvings everywhere. It was like there were loads of monsters watching you there shiny blue paua shell eyes followed you everywhere! As I grew up and understood what they were I grew to love them and respect them (I now have a few here and there in my home).

Grandads tattoos...... On his face (a Maori tradition)

Hangi in the garden- Shallow hole in ground with fire in, stones go on top, when hot slap mean and veg/kumara on top cover with flax mats and soil, leave to cook........ yummmmmmmmy!! Always had one on 6th Feb (Waitangi day)

Kapa Haka group- Used to come every weds eve for practice. Loved the puipui skirts, tiaha and mere. As got older used to join in….. really miss kapa haka.

1/2 a waka in the garden that grandad was carving.

Granny teaching us stick games and how to swing poi.

Granny and grandad telling us Maori myths and legends before bed.

Grannys greenstone necklace, I used to sit and stroke it for hours. It now belongs to me after she left it for me in her will.

Oh, I have loads more to the ones I already listed.


Internal doors with glass panels with swirls on.
A jigsaw my grandmother had made of Henny Penny and co.
Bedspreads and blankets, not duvets.
Those paper dolls with clothes. One of the outfits was an iceskating one.
Lots of heavy, dark wood furniture that was very different to home furniture.
Antimacassars (sp?).
Prunes with cream for breakfast, and playing "tinker tailor" with the stones.
A pond with goldfish called "Tom, Dick and Harry".
Lots of fresh fish caught by my grandfather. I don't think I actually liked it much.
Royal Doulton "lady" figurines, and various others of things like fishermen.

DM's (grandmother only as my grandfather died before I was born)

The button jar.
A mint green loo, basin and bath, with fluffy bathroom accessories.
Those trays with cushions underneath to have food on your lap. I have one of hers now.
A Siamese cat ornament, which someone she gave a Siamese kitten to gave her.
Lots of Exotic Things From Abroad, like African hunting knives and coral and shells and masks, kept in a display cupboard, along with a fan made from feathers.
Being allowed to watch what we wanted on television.
A biscuit tin with a textured lid, which I can't quite picture but would know in a second if I saw it again.

*meat and veg not mean hmm

FellatioNelson Thu 03-Nov-11 13:52:18

A big old biscuit tin full of buttons, of all colours and sizes. My sister and I used to tip them out and play with them - they were like precious jewels to us.

The cellar, where my Grandpa had all his carpentry tools and a big workbench. There was an old meat safe down there (don't remember them ever using it though). My Grandpa made me a wooden doll's caravan and my sister a little train.

I remember their kitchen so vividly. It seemed big at the time, but looking back it was tiny. They always had Radio 2 on, and they always had digestive biscuits in a tupperware box.

Their garden. There was a peach tree at the end, and I remember big white daisies, bergenias and rhubarb. We used to lay out a rug on their lawn and have dollies picnics, and do cartwheels. We used to wash our dolls' clothes in a bowl on the back doorstep and peg them out to dry. My Grandma would always make us wash our feet in the bowl on the doorstep when we'd been playing in the garden for hours. Happy days!

notyummy Thu 03-Nov-11 13:53:21

mrspear - your Grandads war stories sound similar to my grandads. He was taken off in the little ships Dunkirk and then landed on Sword Beach at D Day and I know he saw some terrible things, but he never spoke about them....Only the food; eating it; nicking it (from French farmyards 'we were bloody liberating the country - a few potatoes was the least they could do...) and preparing it when on 'jankers' for nicking food from French farmyards grin

mollyblob Thu 03-Nov-11 13:54:21

My grandmother lived in the same terraced house for 92 years.

The sound of the out of tune piano and the very tall music stool containing ancient sheet music with fabulous illustrated covers.

The outside loo next to the coal shed.

The wartime first aid tin with never-used rolls of gauze and frightening dressing pads.

The treadle sewing machine in the front window with a narrow drawer full of two shilling pieces for the meter.

A cloth to go over the television at night.

The front door that was never locked and the constant stream of relatives and friends who came through it every day and sat down at the kitchen table for a cup of tea from the pot that never seemed to empty.

I loved staying with my grandparents.

My maternal grandmother kept a huge pot full of coins I could play with.

The lovely smell of her pasta sauces, stews, peperonata, roasted potatoes etc (I could go on for days).

She allowed me to build huts with umbrellas, cushions and anything else I could find.

She'd fall asleep after lunch while doing her crosswords and snored, I loved how she snored.

I loved the smell of her 1 a day cigarette.

The smell of the stove in her countryside house.

I spent lots of time with my maternal grandmother, also because she looked after us when my mother was working full time. I loved being with her, she was (still is, though she is very old now) the most easy going, serene person I've ever met.

My paternal grandmother lived with the tv on. She lived in a small flat which I also loved to visit, mainly because she was the best storyteller in the world, and I used to pester her to tell me yet one more story.

Like my maternal grandmother, she was a fantastic cook too.

Ryoko Thu 03-Nov-11 14:02:24

The really long stair case.
The pain from hitting the banister ornament at the end of the said stair case.
The secret stair case to the old servants area.
the unnaturally freezing cold marble bathroom.
The shed in the garden no one was allowed in.
Sugar sandwiches in the kitchen.
Finding fag ash in the homemade cakes.

Ryoko Thu 03-Nov-11 14:04:10

As for the other one, I've only ever been in her house once and all I remember was her washing a chicken in the sink and drying it on the tea towel, she's still alive, in an OAP home at the age of 103.

notyummy Thu 03-Nov-11 14:05:56

Oh yes - the storytelling!

My grandad used to tuck me in when I stayed with them (nana had had a stroke when I was two and was confined to a wheelchair.) He would tell me stories of when he was little boy growing up in Manchester in the depression following world war one. Basically quite grim stories of a large family without enough food and the threat of violence from my great grandad if you stole bread....but I loved the stories and would always want more.

melika Thu 03-Nov-11 14:09:33

The silence in the living room, but the ticking of an old cheap clock on the mantelpiece,the smell of GDs pipe billowing tobacco smoke, the wooden elephants I wasn't allowed to touch. Sitting still on the vinyl chair, having a pink tinned salmon salad and lots of bread and butter. The blue and white striped tea set in the dresser that never came out. Strictness from GD and the disregard and indifference from GM.sad

A feeling of 'when can we go, Mom?'

PANCHEY Thu 03-Nov-11 14:12:20

Black and white striped sofa
Grandpa's collection of brass band LPs
Pasty making
The fact that grandpa parked his car in the garage without the handbrake on
Light brown chairs with blue plastic covers
Grandpa's shopping bag
Granny's button box and knitting

Other grandparent

Playing snakes and ladders
What Katy did and black beauty on the tv
Chocolate bars kept in unusual places for him to find with us
The organ in the front room
Carrying plates of food into the dining room to help lay up tea
Say g goodbye and being allowed one hazel nut to eat in the car on the way home
The exciting journey to and from on the only bit of dual carriageway in county, my sister and I named it "the speedway" (Cornwall was always a bit behind)

Notyummy: I also adored to listen to my grandmothers stories about ww2 and even older ones. My maternal grandmother had great scary stories of their house being searched by the nazis (granddad was hiding in the hills with the partisans) or of a relative being beaten up by the fascists. I loved those stories.

notyummy Thu 03-Nov-11 14:14:55

My mum and dad are fantastic with 5 year old DD and I hope she will be able to contribute some similar (albeit from a different era) memories in 30 years time. My dad makes mince pies with her every Xmas eve, and they have a big horses brass with a bell hanging in their dining room that he used to have to lift her up to ring. She is so pleased to be able to do it herself now! She stayed with them for a week in the school holidays and my dad and her spent one afternoon running round the garden with super squirters having water battles. Afterwards he rang me to tell me 'that's why I wanted grandchildren.' smile

Melika sad

Anchorwoman Thu 03-Nov-11 14:14:57

Grandad's tattoos on his arms, proper sailors ones of swallows and garlands
Grandad carving roast beef on Sunday, and then beef sandwiches at teatime, white bread spread really thick with yellow butter
Watching crossroads and boxing - Grandma loved the boxing
My pyjamas being warmed on the aga before bedtime, and washing drying on the big wooden dryer hoisted above
Going bramble picking with Grandma and her hooking the best ones down with her walking stick for me to reach
Home made rosehip syrup - I have memories of drinking this at night time from a bottle with a teat so must have been only about 2 or 3?
Grandad on his CB radio - I had my own radio name and sometimes he would let me speak to ships out in the bay
The wind howling and screaming at night, the house was VERY spooky at night time
The 'front room' feeling special (and freezing!) as it was kept for best and we were only allowed in at Christmas!

Their house was magical, i still see it from time to time but it has lost its magic without them being there.

WentworthMillerMad Thu 03-Nov-11 14:18:54

Yes, I am 41 and I still miss my grandparents, all died in my 20s

I miss Saturday night and being allowed to watch Dallas while my Granny smoked her 20 cigarettes drinking her bayleys!
Boiled egg with a spoon of butter and well salted for breakfast with a glass of cream soda (FIZZY)! M and S sausages. Cuddles and endless love, being spolt rotten.
As a teenager - tea in bed, home made fish and chips, sneaking me cash!
I will be exactly this type of Granny!

melika Thu 03-Nov-11 14:23:34

I didn't know my Dads parents, they died before I remember and I was the last born grandchild of my Moms family, so by that time, I don't think they cared anymore.'Tis sad I have no great memories, only that we never went short of apples come Autumn (but had to watch out for the worms)!

BoffinMum Thu 03-Nov-11 14:25:58

Smell of polish and fresh laundry in their house. If I dig my nose right into some of the soft furnishings I inherited from them, the smell is just there still. sad

Roger et Gallet fern soap

Fresh rolls for breakfast with Alpine butter and forest honey. Pretzels with butter. Sugar puffs (called "Smacks" in Germany) with warm milk in an antique porcelain bowl with fish painted on it. Little porcelain cups with blue violets painted all over them.

My hugely elegant German grandmother doing silent but deadly farts at the meal table. grin

Going for lunch in town, stopping by the toy shop or a posh children's clothes shop and being indulged.

Being taken into Dallmayr, a Munich institution a bit like the Fortnums food hall, to look at the lobsters and live fish in tanks.

Being read stories from Richard Scarry books in German whilst sitting on my grandmother's knee.

Playing peekaboo with my grandmother. Her teaching me to embroider, buying me stickers and letting me mess about with rolls of sellotape.

My grandfather pretending to be the big bad wolf round the back of the play house, until we screamed with pleasure. Also him taking us on Alpine hikes with little backpacks and Toblerones, going up mountains for hours and hours, and getting us all dirty.

Being fed a lot of cake.

Being tucked into bed when I had eaten too much cake, and cossetted with chamomile tea.

Very fluffy goosedown duvets.

My grandmother growing sweet peas in the garden.

Playing football with my grandfather in the garden.

Pottering around the garden with a little wheelbarrow, or a bucket, pretending to garden or do washing.

Going down to the basement to see the housekeeper at work in the laundry room, and chatting for hours even though we didn't have a language in common (I didn't speak German as a kid). She's still alive and we visit her regularly, and she does all the things with my kids that she did with me, even though she is about 90 now!

Being taken swimming in lakes.

Sadly my own parents don't do any of these things for my kids - they see them for half a day at Christmas once a year - their choice.

BoffinMum Thu 03-Nov-11 14:27:54

Have just realised I appear to have morphed into my own children's grandmother. hmm <therapy emoticon>

Matronalia Thu 03-Nov-11 14:29:13

Mum's side:

Having to walk up a rickety iron staircase up the side of the building to get to her flat.
The smell of her hairspray
Grandad having to smoke in his special chair in the dining room and nowhere else
The glass jar of multicoloured cotton wool in the bathroom
The picture of my uncle's coast guard cutter on the wall
The wonderful wood/leather stool which my brother and I fought over as it made a fantastic camel/elephant
Orange bedspreads with tassells
The way my grandad only referred to grandma as Memsaab and deferred to her on everything.
Proper Persian rugs on the floor with holes chewed out of them by generations of well loved dogs. One of them is on my bedroom floor and its just as soft and silky as when it was made 70 years ago.
Watching my grandma dress and make her face up beautifully every morning

Dads side:

Eating chives from the garden
The Bisto tin full of clothespegs and the half of a plastic tea set that were brought out to entertain us. The doll in handmade/knitted clothes and blue striped pushchair that DD now has.
PLaying cards at Christmas
Herbie videos
Pumice stone in the bathroom
Gristly meat and bread and butter or summer fruit pudding for dessert. Homemade cheese scones to start.
My nan-nan's home made clothes that she had made out of upholstery material (or so it felt like). I have never seen clothes like them before or since, but they suited her totally.
The white plates with naff orange and brown squares around the outside which were for special occasions. I have them now, they are still hideous but they make me smile.
Creepy owl collection that covered half of one wall that terrified me totally as a child.

needshelpwitheveryday Thu 03-Nov-11 14:31:02

My Nanna used to give me and my brother rich tea biscuits with butter and sugar sprinkled on the top :-)

and warm milk with Sugar YIPPEEEE

I can't think of my grandparents without remembering his cigar, and her bitter lemon (and B&H)... the height of sophistication it seemed to me.
(actually I still love bitter lemon).

pamelat Thu 03-Nov-11 14:34:33

Having thought about all these memories, just realised I would have kittens if my parents or inlaws "let" my two do these things but will try to relax (!!) as it was all very important in my childhood. Maybe its because mine are still so long but I wouldnt be impressed about chips at midnight ... oh oh high maintenace mummy! smile

jugglingwithgoldandmyrhh Thu 03-Nov-11 14:36:05

Roast dinner, usually chicken or lamb, with roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding in a big tray, and carrots and peas.

Two big armchairs by the gas fire.

The big, old, slightly mysterious barometer.

Having a bath ( they were rare at home blush ! )

Climbing the old oak tree and the rope swing hanging from it's branches.

Sweeties in the car - blackcurrant pastilles from granny.

The visiting ice-cream van and it's loud little tune calling us out.

And the old-fashioned grocery van too.

Grandpa's barley sugars ... and his smelly old pipe.

Playing in the fields out the back amongst the gorse bushes, and with sky-larks high overhead.

The greyhound racing board-game.

The large pebble I'd painted holding the bathroom door open for years !

Yorky Thu 03-Nov-11 14:40:07

Only one memory of dad's parents, 2 dark red wingback armchairs facing a gas fire, youngest DB mut have been baby at the time cos I was feeding my dolly and pulled my Tshirt up and Nain told me 'nice girls don't do that!'

My mum's mum - house stank of fags, she hated cats and would bang on the window whenever one came in her garden, plasticine we were only allowed ot play in the summer house nowhere with carpet, sitting on the kitchen worktop smelling all her spice jars, taught us beggar my neighbour and rummy and newmarket, always had a big dark brown owl money box collecting coppers for the local hospice which we used to raid for gambling on newmarket!, mr kiplings french fatties fancies, toby jugs in the little shelves in her stone fire surround, for some reason she had a good collection of walking sticks (don't remember her ever using them) which we loved to play crutches with

Whitewell Thu 03-Nov-11 14:42:37

My Grandma and Grandad's house:
Faint smell of gas, very hot living room, freezing front room, lots and lots of toast with butter. Dominos, whist, always having to move my grandma's knitting to be able to sit down. Mad carpet. The 'rogues gallery', a wall with all my cousins' pictures on. Love, so much love.

My Granny's house:
Pantry, peat smell in the living room, being given raw jelly cubes as a treat, hiding behind the sofa in a den, lavender, geraniums, gooseberries in a bowl on top of the freezer. Tweed skirts. Dark chocolate digestives and lemonade. Still think of her when I see or smell all of these.

Miss all three of them very much.

Fortunate to still have one set of GP smile (never knew the other set really as they'd both passed away by the time I was 5) although some part of them has left through dementia. But called back to their original house in London where my father grew up a couple of years ago and a kind man had just moved in and allowed us a tour. Lots of changes (which my Grandmother would have approved of) but a lot of mature plants/shrubs in garden that they would have planted and cared for. My memories though are of:

the hatch between dining room and kitchen where we'd get wafts of women's hour interrupting our play
the little hand-sewn dried-pea-filled frog door stop
the coloured paving slabs outside the front door (so we took a different coloured hopping route to the front door each time we visited)
the best roast potatoes/dinners ever
watching crackerjack on their old TV
making model structures out of drinking straws
picnics including table-cloth in Richmond Park, London
The following records: pinky and perky, Gracie Fields singing The Dicky Bird Hop, and Wally Whyton singing children's favourites like "there's a hole in my bucket"
Oh and getting pins in our feet if we dared not to wear slippers as Grandma made lots of her own clothes
Drinking a snowball "with a cherry please" at Christmas and Black Magic chocolates
Playing cribbage
Being fed pieces of peeled raw apple that were surplass for pies and crumbles with a nice sprinkling of sugar on.
Weetabix with hot milk for breakfast
The "changing towel tube" for changing on the beech, draw-string around the neck
Oh and popping beads. Bead necklaces that you could pop out the beads to make different lengths... it was real costume jewellery

Goodness, I am copying this and gonna scan some old photos in and make a photobook with my memories and thanks and get it to my Grandparents quickly before it is too late. Love them to bits.

Thanks for this lovely thread, she says, typing through a torrent of happy and sad tears!

LemonMousse Thu 03-Nov-11 14:53:25

The china cabinet - turning the little key in the lock and looking at all the knicknacks - coronation mugs, ashtray with 'a present from Scarborough' on it, a tiny pair of china clogs from Holland, odd little cups and saucers.

Being allowed to poke the fire and sweep the ash from the hearth. She also had a brass tub of coloured 'spills' on the hearth (think they were for lighting pipes with? Not that she had a pipe!) which I used to play with for hours.

Sitting on the treadle of her singer sewing machine and getting a smack for doing it grin. She died 10 years ago and that sewing machine is mine now - the drawers are still full of cottons and buttons and they smell like Grandma's house smile

Insomnia11 Thu 03-Nov-11 14:58:57

I am also in tears typing this!

Staying over every Tuesday night

Drinking ginger beer and Mellow Birds

Eating poached fish and peas for tea, which was always about 4.30pm

The toilet which was always cold

The bathroom tiles which had been hand painted by my great auntie, grandma's sister

The big bed in the spare room, which was incredibly warm and cosy, crisp sheets, electric blanket and eiderdown, but I was terrified of the big wardrobe in there

Christmas round at great auntie and uncles. Lots of raucous laughter, card games around the table, grandma having a couple of whiskys and becoming the life and soul of the party while usually being pretty quiet. She died suddenly when I was 11 and Christmas was never quite the same after that.

Insomnia11 Thu 03-Nov-11 15:00:12

Ginger ale not beer I meant.

iwanttoscream Thu 03-Nov-11 15:00:22

semolina with lemon curd. my favourite. also they lived in a bungalow on the farm until ill health ,that backed onto a wood we used to play in and they had a large garden that we loved to explore, my sister and brothers used to pretend we were in the famous five/secret seven.though this was back in the seventies when we all felt safe.

Insomnia11 Thu 03-Nov-11 15:01:56

I can still remember my dad's dad even though he died when I was 4. My dad looks very like him now which helps.

Raahh Thu 03-Nov-11 15:04:03

Oh, the story telling!! Another of the things I regret not listening to more at the time, were Grandpa's war stories. He spent the whole war in North Africa, in the Royal enginers, and used to tell us all sorts of things. Some may have been true, some a wee bit embroideredgrin- I wish I had paid more attention. As it gets closer to Remembrance Sunday, (when he used to polish his medals and walk through Manchester with the Vets) I miss him a lot.


I also gave ds his name as his middle name. I'll never forget when he visited in the hospital and we told him. He was so pleased. (I wanted to call dd2, last year, Florence after gran, but DH wasn't keen on Flo as a nick name). And he said Flossie sounded like a sheep doghmm

bruffin Thu 03-Nov-11 15:41:52

I also had the smell of tomatos as my GP were market gardeners and had big greenhouses and a greengrocer/flower shop in the high street. The smell of flowers shop always reminds me of my nan. They had 4 acres of land on the River Wye

There was a picture of jesus in a meadow in the bedroom we slept in and going out searching for badger sets in the morning.

My nan cooking welsh cakes.

My nan making wreaths and wedding boquests, dying the tips of carnations for buttonholes.

My granddad showing off he could weigh a perfect pound of tomatoes every time.
Feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs in the morning.

My other grandad died when my dad was 2 and my greek nan lived with us until she died when I was 9, unfortunately I have no good memories of her.

LaFilleSurLePont Thu 03-Nov-11 15:49:58

I forgot one for my grandmother. When my cousin and I visited her we always wanted to drink out of the little boot glasses she had.There were two of them,not much bigger than shot glasses,shaped like boots.I think they were from The Canaries. There was a blue one and an orange one,and for some reason we always fought over the blue one.

I wish I had them. I don't know what happened to them.

Jammyrella Thu 03-Nov-11 17:09:24

Feeling so very nostalgic now. Don't know where to start with the memories though. But you have made me feel a lovely mix of sad and happy all together.

pink4ever Thu 03-Nov-11 17:15:22

Well I lived with my gp's from a very young age so my experience might be a bit different to others?

Things I remember most-how much fun we had. Nothing big-we really didnt have any money-just going to the park,or for a wander round town. Or at night playing bingo or cards or singing.

They were the best people in the world-taught me to read,ride a bike,swim and I hope how to be a half decent person. I love them forever.

Only had my maternal grandmother, and only until I was 9, but I remember:

The cleanest, neatest bungalow in the world.

My uncle arriving every Thursday evening to mow the lawns for her.

A faint smell of gas in the kitchen.

Listerine mouthwash (when it came in a glass bottle with some sort of polystyrene sleeve, if I've not imagined that).

The ticking of the kitchen timer.

A surprising variety of knitted/crocheted articles in the bathroom, for the purposes of hiding loo rolls and anything else that lent itself to being hidden.

Baking together.

Classical music in the afternoons and teaching me how to waltz.

Stories of working in the fields as a girl (I do believe threshing machines played some part in these tales).

Tea and home-made cakes served from the hostess trolley.

Washing my face as follows: "Brow berry, eye winky, eye winky, nose nobby, cheek cherry, cheek cherry, mouth moppy, chin choppy- and that's where the cats tickle! [under my chin]"

<Welling up>

SAHMlikeitHOT Thu 03-Nov-11 17:31:58

One set:

Barry Island!!!

Laying the table for breakfast the night before (with NAPKINS)

The little mouse that supposedly lived in a hole in the garden path!

Tea in a thermos in bed in theimorning



Other set:
Thornton's treacle toffee
red cabbage
ginger wine on cold days
solitaire with marble marbles
Turquoise everything!
Knitting, button box, embroidery thread

33goingon64 Thu 03-Nov-11 17:47:20

The address book by the phone that had a dial on the front cover you could stick your finger in and turn - hours of fun doing that.

The pantry which had a very distinctive smell. Lino on the kitchen floor and the 1950s kitchen appliances.

The walk in wardrobe that had two doors on either side of the bed in their bedroom - we used to run through it and play hide and seek. The cut glass perfume bottles on GM's dressing table.

Eating in the dining room which adjoined my GP's painting studio - the smell of oil paints mingling with beef stew and powdery pepper.

GP would make us poached eggs for breakfast - it was only when I got to uni I realised they aren't called Grandpa Eggs blush

Playing chess and draughts with GP and always losing (not sure he would have approved of the notion of letting a child win).

Toffees in a little silver dish on the coffee table.

jugglingwithgoldandmyrhh Thu 03-Nov-11 17:48:17

Ooh was it like on Gavin & Stacey SAHM ? It sounds posher mind you what with the napkins and all wink

My other grandparents (Dad's side) I remember ;

All getting into bed together in the morning
with tea and dunking rich teas - they often fell in !
Granny buying me new star shaped cereal and eating it at wooden kitchen table with stone floor ( they lived in an old stone built cottage )
An outside loo !
A bit of glamour from this granny ...
sharing her jewelry - lots of bangles, also perfume, and perhaps face powder in a fancy compact - Can just see me sitting with her in front of her bed-side table and mirror !
Their little white poodle called Henry (will only out myself to my brother or sister there I hope ! )
My Grandpa's glamorous old, black car with those curly side-board bits grin

woahwoah Thu 03-Nov-11 18:23:34

This thread is great!

Hydrangeas by the front door.
An open fire with hissing coal.
Grandad pushing the carpet sweeper round (his 'job').
The old belfast sink and wooden draining board.
The pantry with the milk bottle on the cold shelf (no fridge!).
The terrifyingly steep stone steps into the back garden.
Making daisy chains in the garden.

I've just realised, I don't think I ever spent a night in my GPs house! They were quite elderly when I was born, and they didn't babysit!

I still miss then even though they have been dead for more than 30 years.

Cupawoman Thu 03-Nov-11 18:38:55

Opening the back door to the smell of something wonderful cooking in the oven.

Being able to dip white bread in the roast beef dripping before adding salt shock

Being taught how to knit, crochet and sew by age of 7.

Coating plant pots in the back garden with polyfilla and seashells, then varnishing.

Thrice cooked home made chips long before Hester got there.

And always a kind word and support no matter what the circumstances.

Shadydee Thu 03-Nov-11 18:42:34

That tomato smell
Shelling peas
Playing poker
Bingo in the front room with the ladies from church
Bread and butter with every meal
The honey bee jam pot
Pictures of the pope everywhere and some sort of pope certificate (?)
Making 'things' out of bits of wood and nails in the shed
Baking with my grandmother
Placing pretend bets on the horses
Grace before meals
Chopping wood
Walking about with a book balanced on my head.
Tweed suits.
Playing with my grandmothers jewellery and the beswick animals
Cocoa and a cracker before bed.
Silence must be observed for the news.
Picking blackberries and windberries.
Feeding the birds
Butter softening over the fire
The telephone number in four digits which must be repeated to the caller when answering the phone
Runner bean seeds under the bed

BarryStar Thu 03-Nov-11 19:21:31

Oh, this is such a happy/sad thread:

Memories of my Mam (maternal grandma) who I lived with til I was 5:

Walking me to nursery school every morning
Going to the "Cwop" and her buying me Lovell's nougat and ice gems
Being allowed to stay up til she went to bed
Eating at midday and always something cooked - usually fried, and always followed by some home baked pudding
Playing dominoes, draughts and gin rummy with me.
The old rusty red swing in her garden that I used to spend hours on.
Mr Brain next door's garden, absolutely packed with dahlias.
Runner beans (which, confusingly, were known to us as kidney beans), their scarlet flowers and the poles.
The hens and henhouse.
Her boxy leather handbags, bootees, hats and those stole things with fake fox's heads
Her overalls/house coat, always had one on, usually brightly coloured floral one.
Her friend Mrs Davies and Auntie Gwennie dropping in (and letting themselves in) every single day
Wrapping my hair in bandages for ringlets.
Washing my hair on a Sunday evening and letting it dry in front of the fire while Tom Jones was on the telly.
Swirly carpets.
The scullery and kitchenette

God, I could go on for ages. She died just before my dc3 was born, 14 years ago, and like others have said, there's not a day goes by when I don't think of her. Sometimes, when I'm dropping off to sleep, I swear I hear her voice calling my name.

Debs75 Thu 03-Nov-11 19:31:18

The smell of gas, we were all electric so for years I thought it was my granny smell. It makes me think of her

Outside toilets and being scared to go in them after dark

Great granny swiping us with her walking stick

Grandad always watching the races

Nanna crocheting huge blankets out of old jumpers. As soon as she had finished she would ask whoever was there if they wanted it. If no-one did she would take it out, we would wind the wool onto the back of a chair and then she would start again. Mum has 2 of those blankets and it is just loely snuggling under Nannas blanket

A houseful in a tiny house

Stairs that were really in a cupboard, the sette was right next to it and if you weren't quick enough you were knocked out by someone rushing downstairs

sad wish I had some grandparents left

FellatioNelson Thu 03-Nov-11 19:51:20

More things are coming to me now....they had a bureau in the sitting room, with a pull-down desktop, (circa 1935) which creaked when you opened it. My sister still has it in her house now.

When we stayed for the weekend (which was often) we were allowed to creep inot their (separate twin) beds for a cuddle when we woke up.

Every evening after supper they would open a cupboard in the back parlour and switch on the immersion heater for hot water. They had a lovely tradtional red patterned Axminster carpet that ran along the hallway and up the stairs.

On a Friday night my Grandpa would always buy magazines for me and my sister. Bunty for me, and Twinkle for her. That was the absolute highlight of our week.

I loved them both so much. smile

I have tried to read this thread three times and just keep crying. I miss my Grandma sad

dolceebanana Thu 03-Nov-11 20:02:52

Cripes, yes, Cribbage for the men!
Lemon scented polish
Flannelette sheets
Lavender soap
Productive kitchen garden before it was 'trendy'
A proper Larder with all sorts of wonders within
Home made crepe paper garlands strung across the sitting room ceiling at Christmas
Granny's Apple and Blackberry Pie
Comfy, threadbare old armchairs
The scullery
Old Cornishware on the shelves
Freezing cold bedrooms, which necessitated hot water bottles and the wearing of nighties and cardigans to bed!
Granny's bed jacket!
The lovely small sitting room at Christmas where the family spent the evenings, lit only by the coloured lights on the rather huge real fir tree, eating ham and chutneys and turkey sandwiches and Quality Street whilst watching the 'Morecombe and Wise' Christmas Special!
Ahhh, happy times.

Gosh, a few other posts have jogged my memory further:

Nan was a chain smoker! From the moment she woke, she would light one after another until going to bed - yet I have no memories of everything smelling of smoke. How odd! Grandad apparently used to smoke when he was younger but had given it up.

They had seperate rooms! It didn't strike me as weird when I was small, not sure why. Maybe because Grandad was an early to bed/early riser and Nan a night owl who slept in (until Grandad bought her a cup of tea in bed in the morning). But once an adult Mum seemed to intimate that it was a miracle they had four children as Nan didn't like 'all that business'.

Nans 'full body' slip, over her bra and MASSIVE knickers! I used to giggle at her apple catchers.

Grandads shaving brush and cut throat razor.

THe front of the house had ivy all over it, which used to tap, tap, tap on the window at night and scared the crap outta me. When the rooms got swapped around and my uncle got that room (he's only 7 years older than me) I was so happy I didn't have to sleep in it anymore!

'Ashford 58260, hello?' was how the phone was answered. We didn't even have a phone at home!

LittleMissFlustered Thu 03-Nov-11 20:17:01

Atrixo next to the sink in the kitchen.

The big Bells bottle full of coppers.

The never ending stream of Jean Greenhowe knitted dolls she made that were raffled off for the local charities.

Joy perfume. She'd never wear it (she claimed it was too expensive to waste) but we were allowed to have a sniff of the bottle.

Never being able to leave without a bag full of tat.

Pishtushette Thu 03-Nov-11 20:17:37

Reader`s Digest

CovMum Thu 03-Nov-11 20:24:17

The smell of smoke from the real fire

Proper butter on thick bread

Making you feel special and that they were so proud of you

Funny little rhymes and sayings

Riding on the stairlift

My Grandad's funny inventions

They died 21 and 17 years ago and I miss them all the time

MarshaBrady Thu 03-Nov-11 20:26:30

I had one grandmother in the same country from the age of 13.

She was French and quite amazingly different.

My mother would be very strict when she was present.

I remember her making the best tarte aux pommes and shrugging and saying bof / poof a lot. Being so very chic.

Eating Boxing Day dinner at my own little table from the nest in the living room because there wasn't enough room for everyone around the table - felt so special grin

Grandad's greenhouse and the many tomatoes he grew.

The little purple flowers that covered the little wall around the lawn.

Grandad's books and his reading Armies in the Fire aloud to us.

The cherry tree at the bottom of the garden. A black cherry tree, but we didn't understand and always ate them when they were red - yuk! We did that every year without fail, cherries are red you know hmm grin

Grandma knitting - usually gloves which always had pointy fingers. There was a whole drawer of them in the kitchen at home which we used to fight over

Cupawoman Thu 03-Nov-11 20:40:28

More memories from me too:

Singing 'When the boat comes in' and 'Cushy Butterfield' - North East - all the best tunes grin

Receiving beautiful hand knit cardigans that always smelled of cigarette smoke but in a good way - yes really

Fetching us a big white paper bag full of penny chews, white mice, flying saucers, and candy shrimps every Sunday morning

Always wearing a clean apron whilst in the kitchen

The huge black ornate jewellery box with velvet lined little drawers which fascinated me as a child

My lovely Eileen - we miss you so much

ThingsThatGoFlumpInTheNight Thu 03-Nov-11 20:43:35

This thread is lovely but is making me feel very sad. I don't really remember much about my GPs house as they died when I was very little.

I have the same feelings about my parents' house when I was a child, but loads of happy memories of when both of them were alive and we were a big, normal, noisy family - I lost one of my parents when I was young and the other moved to a smaller house afterwards. Nothing was ever the same after that sad sad

Aloha31 Thu 03-Nov-11 20:45:00

Mum's side:
hiding behind the couch because I thought Adam Ant lived upstairs
Running up and down the ally between next door's house
Grandad's crabs, alive, in the kitchen sink
Feeling safe with my lovely Nanna
Dad's side:
Aunties and uncles putting me and my sister in an orange curtain and swinging us around
Uncle giving us ice cream and lemonade mixed together
Getting us to eat leftovers by calling them bubble and squeek
Playing with uncle's typewriter thinking it was a real treat

MissMunsterMogwi Thu 03-Nov-11 20:47:46

Baking with my Grandma, whilst my Grandad set up the slide show thing to show me (again) their trips to Africa in the '50's. I loved it.

The lavender bushes in their front garden that we would use to make bags for our knicker drawer. And, when we were older whacking the gate into the bushes to make the bees attack the next one up the path grin

Sitting on a bench in the park, eating liquorice torpedoes with my Grandma.

Picking the peas in the garden, and eating them straight away.

My Grandad making me sugarbutties! My mum went mad!

Lovely memories, I feel very lucky.

The outside loo with cut up news paper for toilet paper & just a hole dug in the ground (cottage in the country) clock tick tocking, absolute silence, his old first world war bugle hanging on the wall ,an old fire range with big old cast iron kettle boiling constantly , a big pare of bull horns hanging over the fire,

waxlyrical Thu 03-Nov-11 20:52:06

what a lovely thread.
rolling out pastry shapes and decorating with currants
watching real fire for fire fairies going up the chimney
jack russells
special book from GM's childhood that were fascinating
sherbert dips
being allowed to look at the view finder a sort of slide viewer thing that you put little slide discs with stories on in - anyone remember them?
and endless summer days in the garden

miss mine too

BelinaTheChicken Thu 03-Nov-11 20:54:49

Playing made up games with my cousins

Hiding under the kitchen table when I was left alone when my gran went upstairs

Having dippy egg and soildiers after being picked up from the childminder

Our playmobile 'set' comprising one horse, two polar bears, a dog, a handful of people and various bits of playground

Doing the dishes with my cousins after big family meals, probably making more mess than we started with

Runny bird's eye custard

Only had one gran but she was the best gran and totally made up for lack of other grandparents. Feeling a bit soppy now.

neverever Thu 03-Nov-11 21:01:00

What a lovely thread you have all made me smile but have tears in my eyes.
Lying in my grans bed with her on a Sunday morning reading the cartoons in the Sunday post.
When I couldn't sleep she would stroke my face she had the softest fingers.
My grandad dancing with me to cherry pink and apple blossom White while I stood on his feet.
My granny giving me a small sherry when I was about 14 on a cold night.
The smell of macaroni and burnt butter, it was amazing.
One of those big lampshades that was copper and a cool 3d effect.
One of the wooden pointy clocks that looked like a sun.
Hiding in the huge wardrobes playing hide and seek with my sister.
Raking her carpet with one of those plastic rake things after it had been hoovered.

BiscuitsandBaileys Thu 03-Nov-11 21:01:31

Mum's parents- arguing with my sister over who got to make Grandad's roll up's, especially licking it to seal it (think this is disgusting now!)
Nan sharing mint humbugs with my sister and I when we whispered to ask for one, but not hearing my Mum when she spoke to her grin
Being amazed by squirrels in their garden.

Dad's parents- Watching Concord fly over on a Saturday afternoon.
The front room that we were only allowed into after dinner.
My tall Grandad who seemed so huge to me, a gentle giant smile

BiscuitsandBaileys Thu 03-Nov-11 21:02:59

Meant to add dh remembers staying over at his gp's house and being allowed to sleep on a shelf in the airing cupboard!

jugglingwithgoldandmyrhh Thu 03-Nov-11 21:06:09

My Great Aunts and Great Uncle lived together in an even older house they'd bought for their retired parents (my great-grandparents) which we also used to visit often. Just a few high-lights as it's slightly off topic ...
Every evening ending with a game of rumy together - and my great-uncle could always tell us the last card !
A great Edwardian garden with lots of veg, an old plum tree, and a beautiful red brick wall around it.
A real fire with lots of pokers and coal to play with ! ( when we were old enough )
An old study with all great-Grandpa's books - he was a vicar in Victorian times.
Visiting one of my great-aunts in her bedroom when I was young. She was blind I think and I read to her a little.
And the classic - they had those servant bells in the kitchen for each room in the house. Also a fascinating attic with old pictures and lots of jars of jam !
Also remember the village fete, and the church where my great-Aunt played the organ.
A real step back in time place !

neverever Thu 03-Nov-11 21:07:49

My other grandparents had a vegetable patch and we always had tatties from the garden.
My grandad used to make pickled onions I loved those.
They also had mirrored wardrobes and I used to open both doors and stand in the middle so it looked like there was loads of me.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 03-Nov-11 21:09:30

My gran had old fashioned scales with brass plates either side and retro orange weights. I used to spend hours playing with it and stacking the weights up

Gay40 Thu 03-Nov-11 21:11:14

A massive sideboard-type thing which was a record player. I was allowed to play records on it, which were original 33s from London Musicals they went to see in the 1950s and 1960s. Hence I knew all the words to "Oliver" before I ever saw the film.
Mashed sprouts.
Slices of bread and butter with your tea.
The supper trolley.
Plates with your name written on in blue felt tip - my granda did all the cooking but labelled the plates so he knew who was having what (ie who was not having mashed sprouts)
Being allowed a cake in bed.
The sound of foghorns as I went to sleep (they lived on the coast).
Dancing to "knock three times on the ceiling if you want me".
A copper lampshade which they had bought from a VERY posh London store and I have never seen one like it before or since (my mum says "thank f**k" as she hated it)
The picture of the green lady which scared the shit out of me as a kid, but I have it now - not on the wall though as DD is scared of it grin

Magneto Thu 03-Nov-11 21:13:19

I have posted this before under a previous name. It's miles long but I don't want to shorten it. It was my most favourite place to be, I still dream about it sometimes now and my Grandad is always there.

"My nan has recently been moved to a residential home and everytime I think about her old house I have to stop myself from crying. I will never go past it again. I just couldn't bear it. I think in a way I am mourning the loss of how happy I was when I was there and how wonderful my nan (and now deceased grandad were). I can't stand the thought of someone else living there but at the same time I hope they are happy. No one should ever be sad in that house.

You don't have to read anymore because I know this will be long but I have to "talk" about it somewhere or I'll explode.

Above the front door there was a sign my dad made with their house number on it. My nan used to make us polish the brass handles and locks on the door every weekend. In the front garden there were really tall conifers which I remember playing under when I was very small, but they were cut down before I even started school. We used to use the tree stumps as stepping stones. We would ride our bikes down the back alley (god knows how it's about 2 foot by 10 foot!) because we weren't allowed to play out the front without my grandad. When we did play out the front, he would stand on the grid in the middle of the path and pretend to be a traffic policeman. He taught me how to climb to the top of the lampost at the end of the street and then I got told off by one of the neighbours who wouldn't beleive he told me it was ok.

My nan had net curtains on the front door and my sister and I (and sometimes my brother) would walk out from underneath it pretending we were a bride with a veil on. The wallpaper in the hall was that woodchip stuff and we used to try and pick the wood out but if it got caught under your fingernails it would kill for weeks! I remember when I was too small to reach the lightswitches and my grandad would tell us off if we tried to touch the plugs.

I remember my nan bathing us, her bath had a little tray over the middle of it so my sister and I would sit on either side of it and have tea parties in the bath. My nan had talc that was pink and smelled like roses, whereas my mum only used the boring white stuff. I once brushed my teeth with their arm and hammer toothpaste and never did it again!

In the kitchen there was a postcard that read "Kitchen closed due to illness, I'm sick of cooking". The fridge was always full of icecream, kinder eggs, animal bars (anything that came in threes so we all had one each and no fighting!) My nan always had polos and would cut the packet in thirds for us. We could take anything from the fridge, but were not allowed anything from the cupboards because my grandad said that you don't know what's in the bottles, it might not be what it says it is so we must always ask them first. When my nan was cooking, we would run into the kitchen, untie the back of her pinny, then run out again before she could catch us.

They had a tv in the living room and a tv in the kitchen and they would have them both on at the same time sometimes. One was slightly faster than the other so you always got an echo. Their tv aerial wouldn't work in windy weather and they could never get channel 5. In the holidays or if I was ill I would watch the channel 4 educational programmes all day! When I was older I would go round, sit on the couch next to my grandad and read a book while he watched the football. We never needed to say anything to each other. I get headaches a lot and my grandad would make me lie on the couch and his hand would fit around my whole head. He would massage my head and the headache would go away.

Their Christmas decorations were typical 70's tackyness but their fairy lights were multicoloured cinderella carriages, much cooler than ours which were just plain white.
My grandad would let me practice my handstands against the living room door and taught me how to do a slow motion backflip! I never managed to do it quickly!

They only had one bedroom and we were allowed to bounce on their bed (mum wouldn't let us bounce on the beds at home). Nan blames us for her bad back! When I was very little, they set up a campbed next to their bed for me to sleep on, but I always ended up in their bed and my grandad would sleep in the campbed. We always wore my nans nighties even if we brought our own.

In the "little room" which was just a large walk-in cupboard we would play hide and seek among their coats and try my nans shoes on.

There is a small area of the wall in their backgarden that is covered in multicoloured splats of paint from when we were paining and decided it would be "artistic" to flick the paint brushes at the paper. It wasn't till afterwards that we realised it was all over the wall so we never told nan!

There is no grass in the back garden, it was all paved over and my grandad would paint them in a checkerboard pattern. He once painted it blue and red but didn't realise it wasn't masonry paint so we all slipped over when we tried to walk outside!

He screwed a piece of plastic into the wall in the shape of a basket ball hoop for us...it said "Guiness" on the side so I'm assuming it was once wrapped around some booze lol. There were two sheds, one we were never allowed in because it was full of dangerous chemicals and weedkiller etc and the floor was rotten. There was a cobweb in the window with a dead bee in it.

The other shed was like a plastic greenhouse and mushrooms grew on the floor! My grandad cleaned it out and made it into a playhouse for us. Complete with an old telephone and table and chairs and curtains.

There was a climbing frame, a swing and a slide in the back garden but we played with the old cushions the most. They were supposed to be left on the floor under the climbing frame incase we fell off onto the paving stones but we like to build stuff with them (and nan's tablecloths).

I was never scared in this house. Not of anything. And I never had a nightmare there.

There are so many more memories but I would be here forever!"

TettyLouBar Thu 03-Nov-11 21:14:09

Bouncing on her sofa at ANY opportunity when she was out of the room

The old fashioned ribbed glass doors

The picture of the crucifix she had above the spare room bed

The music tape she had of the Black and White Minstrels

Her AMAZING baking and the smell in her house of lovely food

The old sweets she kept in a tin that must have come from the Jurassic period

Going to her house for tea after school she made awesome chips fried in fat that went hard when cool

Her sad Miss her loads

rhondajean Thu 03-Nov-11 21:15:38

I remember my grans big cupboard in the kitchen, and the pulley for her bloomers to dry. Her yellow and brown crocheted toilet roll lady!

I remember my grandpa's pipe, and the chair he sat in. I remember knocking over a glass of red cola from their round three legged plastic table and him looking at me and saying to my mum to leave me be.

I was shocked when I went to their grave recently to realise I had been just turned 2 when he died. I had thought I must have been 3 or 4. I remember going to visit him in hospital too when he was really ill.

And lots of good memories of visiting my wee granny after that, who died 2 days before DD1 was born, on Christmas day.

Gay40 Thu 03-Nov-11 21:17:01

Ahh Magneto, that's lovely and not too long at all. I enjoyed reading it x

funnyperson Thu 03-Nov-11 21:19:19

My gran used to massage my forehead with my head in her lap when I had a headache and warm a cloth and put it over my hurty eyes till I was better.

They lived in a rambly old house built round a courtyard with a waterpump so you had to pump to get water every time it was needed. And an outhouse with a cow and calf, fed with fresh hay and sugarcane, which my grandad would shred in the morning, so the smell was always in the air. My granny would churn the buttermilk and let me have a go. There were the sounds of the visiting sellers of fruit, such as guavas, who would call in the street and then come in with their fresh picked baskets full, and my granny would be very strict and only pick out the ripe ones and made sure they were weighed properly. Then she would cut them and add salt and pepper and it would taste tangy and fresh and sweet all at the same time. My grandad was very tall and straight because he had been in the army and they were both the nicest kindest most loving people in the world apart from my own mum and dad.

MajorBumsore Thu 03-Nov-11 21:22:29

A carpet with absolutely no pile.
Making wooly pompoms on a Saturday night in front of the fire.
Apples picked from the tree wrapped in newspaper and kept in the drawer all winter.
Having to go outside to go to the toilet.
My gran's warm fruit cake with really strong orange squash eaten in the garden whilst sitting on the swing.
Having to sleep top to tail with my brother in a single bed.

I miss my Nan.

I almost cried ! I remember the pot of milk bottle tops !
The beige patterned carpet.
Polly the cat , named after the Apollo space craft .
Grandma C made this incredible salad thing with sliced beetroot and raspberry (?) jelly .
Grandad C could stand on his head .
And he had a photo of himself when he was a little girl ( in a smock with lovely long curls )
An enormous Christmas cactus which was the size of the hall table .
Grandma W having a lie down so she could rest evey afternoon.
Both Grandads have been gone for a long time , and lost both Grandmas ( and Mum and MIL in 2001 )

whataboutbob Thu 03-Nov-11 21:27:18

My maternal grandparents- the only ones who mattered
Good things- their country house, spending all summer with them and gran's roast pork which marked the beginning of the holidays (we grew up in a muslim country). Gran's unconditional love and support- I could have murdered someone, she would have pleaded in my favour. Her sense of humour (filthy). Her smell (unique, of her and her rosewater she'd apply every evening). She aged and I never noticed her wrinkles, she was just her and that was enough. My grandfather's calmness to balance out my Dad's emotional and aggressive outbursts. Their love of books, their Frenchness which opened up a whole culture to me and which I'll always carry with me wherever I am.
Bad things- Gran dying suddenly and grandfather's immediate decline thereafter. Grandad not being able to stay in his home. Me having to empty their home after they'd both gone, dismantling their lives item by item I thought it would never end (my mother died before they did so it all fell to me). Only slightly redeemed by selling it to Gran's nephew. Hideous French bureaucracy, I could go on. As the years pass the badness receeds and I remember the good things more and more.

witchyhills Thu 03-Nov-11 21:27:51

The smell of White bread
The taste of thick White bread and butter
Tea and toast for supper(before bedtime)
Scouse-the Liverpool stew

Helping in the kitchen, taking peas out of the pod
Making jam tarts
Waiting for grandad to get off the bus and walk up the path
Smoking in the kitchen(not me)
Lots of blankets on the bed
Staying up to watch pot black with grandad
Watching any sport on sat afternoon with grandad
Playing with the ornaments
Growing onions, strawberries in their garden
Sunbathing in their garden
Going to newsagents on sat afternoon to choose a comic
Bags of broken biscuits
50p's in the leccy meter

One potato, 2 potato game with grandad

All good

EmmalinaC Thu 03-Nov-11 21:30:43

Oh what a beautiful thread! Such beautiful evocative memories.

All my GPs died before I was born. All my life I have believed that you can't miss what you've never had but your posts have changed my mind.

Today I have missed them all. And I have cried my eyes out sad

I am so, so, so grateful that my DDs know all their grandparents and have amazing relationships with them.

You are all very lucky.

jugglingwithgoldandmyrhh Thu 03-Nov-11 21:32:19

Remember the good things whatabout - they're what count ? smile

jugglingwithgoldandmyrhh Thu 03-Nov-11 21:37:21

Thanks for your post Emmalina
It's wonderful that your DD's can know and love all their grandparents.
Sometimes we can catch up on things a bit through them.
Like my DC's have lots of cousins which is something I didn't really experience in my childhood smile

hardcolin Thu 03-Nov-11 21:38:13

Candy-striped sheets (in summer fresh cotton stripes... in winter, flannelette)

The Andrew Sisters

Strawberry picking

Watching old black & white movie matinees on television

Saturday morning visits to the village haberdashery (sadly not too many of them around any more <sigh>)

A very tall, old christmas tree and vintage tree decorations

Poached egg breakfasts and fish & chip suppers

Sunday afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes, and trifle

Baskets of knitting at the side of the sofas

Finding the stash of chocolate limes

Lingering scents of Este Lauder Yew Dew on my clothes after I went home

The feeling of being so unconditionally loved

- Happy times

Madly Thu 03-Nov-11 21:39:31

Mum, Dad and us 6 children lived in our Grandads house.

Sitting around the table and hearing stories of when he walked to school in deep snow!

His three piece suit and satin waistcoat!

Cutting my face when trying to copy him shaving with an open razorshock
My poor DM was traumatised for years after by the sight of my face covered in blood as I ran into the kitchen.

The smell of his pipe tobacco!

Eating late dinner when he came home from work.

Playing cards and crib on cold winters nights in front of the coal fire!

Reading encyclopaedias smelling of mothballs about the 7 Wonders of the World.

Despite having only one child(my dad) he was a wonderful grandad to his 4 granddaughters .

Saturday pocket money spent at Woolworths!

He has been gone for many years but will always be loved and remembered by mesad

whataboutbob Thu 03-Nov-11 21:41:09

Thanks gold and myrrh- maybe it's a human coping mechanism to gradually erase or minimise the bad memories. In grandparents' case, as they are generally so beneficent towards their grandchildren, it's only fitting we do that.

The glass of water my Grandad would always keep in the microwave in case someone turned it on accidentally.

The way the sofa cushions would slide off when we lolled about.

The sound of my Grandad's electric razor at the crack of dawn before he went to work.

The cupboard where Gran kept all the old photo albums which always seemed like a treasure trove.

The blue glass miniature horses that my Gran had - we used to pretend they were moving around.

Wow, great thread.

neverever Thu 03-Nov-11 21:44:54

My gran kept a glass of water in the microwave smile

nenehooo Thu 03-Nov-11 21:45:45

Full on crying. My Grandparents were my parents - Dad died before I was born and Mum had to work all the hours God sent to bring up 3 children on her own. Spent every holiday with my Nan and Grandad and loved every second. I still smell my Grandad (garlic tablets) and hear his laugh (Sid James)and miss them both with all my heart every day.

And more...
sausage casserole with sauteed potatoes
going to pick blackberries for blackberry and apple crumble
licking the spoon after making said crumble
the wallpaper in their bathroom that I picked for my bedroom when it was re-decorated when I was 8
watching cartoons with Grandad
white crusty rolls with butter on a Saturday night when Nan babysat
Nan sitting at the top of the stairs while I went to the toilet (I was scared to go upstairs by myself)

Good thread!

EmmalinaC Thu 03-Nov-11 21:46:09

Juggling you have made me weep again. You are so right to say that we can catch up through our DCs. You have made me very determined to ensure my children stay close to their grandparents.

(Now, cousins - I have loads, some of whom are dear friends, and they remember my GPs... Maybe I should talk to them about it)

Thank you all again for this wonderful thread. Mumsnet is amazing.

Waswondering Thu 03-Nov-11 21:48:52

My grandparents had a house in a large plot of ground, with a variety of outbuildings. I clearly remember eating practically every green gooseberry Grandad had grown .... and they had a selection of apple trees, one of which was particularly good for climbing. My cousins and I would also do endless "races" around the loop behind the garage/outbuildings and boundary fence.

My grandad died earlier this year and I'm saddened that the house is now on the market .... and with it many of my memories. I was particularly struck though when reading ds the Secret Seven how vivid my memories are, particularly of the smell of the shed where he stored his home grown veg.

mummmmmy Thu 03-Nov-11 21:49:36

This is the loveliest thread I have read

PootlePosyPumpkin Thu 03-Nov-11 21:52:41

Grandma turning the gas on, lighting a spill (I think she called them - long wooden multi coloured sticks) and throwing it in the general direction of the fire.

Candlewick bedspreads -yellow in one room, pink in the other.

Cotton sheets in the summer & flannelette in the winter - and no duvets, just hundreds of sheets & blankets.

Watching snooker on a black & white telly grin.

The old fashioned "stereogram" which we were not allowed to touch. "It's not a toy!"

Hanging knickers underneath a towel or tea-towel on the washing line to preserve modesty.

Grandpa's amazing rose beds - and making rose petal perfume from them grin.

hardcolin Thu 03-Nov-11 21:54:49

I agree, this is a loveliest thread.
Reading everyones memories and re-reading my own, I'm in tears

I'm so grateful my dd has a wonderful, close relationship with her grandparents (my parents) especially with my dad (her Grandpa) as I never got to know either of mine

PootlePosyPumpkin Thu 03-Nov-11 21:55:09

neverever my MIL does that! What is it for? In 16 years I've never had the courage to ask blush.

NotnOtter Thu 03-Nov-11 21:55:12

'Chillo' home made iced cream
smoking coals before the fire properly lit
sitting on storage heaters drinking hot vimto
duck in a bath in the greenhouse
sunny sunny days and cosy nights

PootlePosyPumpkin Thu 03-Nov-11 21:56:53

Am now feeling very sad that my DD will never know her grandads - my dad died 8 years ago & my FIL died 7 months before she was born sad.

Jux Thu 03-Nov-11 22:04:11

Never knew my granddads, both had died while my parents were young (dad's dad died in the trenches in WWI, and mum's dad died when she was 11). Dad's mum lived in a large flat I can barely remember, overlooking the beach at St Ives. My brothers went to stay there several times, but I couldn't - she didn't like females!

Mum's mum was a rather grand old lady who lived with us, so her house was our house.

Jammyrella Thu 03-Nov-11 22:11:27

Pootle - my Mum does the water in the microwave thing. It's so that if it gets switched on by accident it has something inside it - meant to be damaging to turn one on while empty.

One set of grandparents lived next door to my parents when I was growing up. Was lovely to be able to pop round and see them every day. I still miss them sometimes even though it is over 20 years since they died. I remember the trivial bits from popping in for a few minutes here and there, and also the big family gatherings at theirs one evening over the Christmas period every year. I see their house over the fence from my parents' now and wonder what it's like inside, but not sure I want to go and look really. Don't want to intrude and also don't want to spoil those memories. Maybe in another 20 years?

The illicit thrill of getting up onto the very high guest bed (where my mother slept) and bumfing around on the puffy satin eiderdown filled with feathers.

The fantastic 50's wallpaper in the downstairs cloakroom, with little vignettes of Chinese characters and landscapes. And the blue and white tiles in there that were probably 30's.

My grandad's lovingly-made 50's kitchen units and shelves. He used to make things and they were ever-so-slightly crap. grin So he'd have made a sort of pelmet for a shelf in the kitchen from some left-over wallpaper, and it was all curly with the steam.

Grandad putting out bacon rind and bits of cheese for the blackbirds on his ricketty old birdtable, and making 'pwtch pwtch' noises at the birds.

The bitter smell when I stuck my nose in his Toby jug of pipecleaners in the sunroom.

Going through my grandmother's drawers in the spare room, where she kept all her sewing things and bits of material.

Listening to their two clocks striking at night, and feeling safe in bed.

The three, flaking and crumbly gnomes at the bottom of the garden, half-buried in pine needles. They were not for playing with.

Sneaking into my grandad's office and looking at his Masonic regalia. Very Secret. blush (Dunno why I'm blushing, it was him, not me!)

Drinking my milk from a Bovril mug that they'd sent off for.


Scaring ourselves silly about going downstairs into the cellar, where I once saw a cockroach.

Finding a pistol AND a little cardboard box of bullets in the safe inside the hall cupboard, that never locked properly. shock

Going through the top drawer in the sideboard and playing with all the little trinkets that'd come out of the Bolo Rei (Portuguese Christmas cake) over the years.

Playing prisoners with my brother - letting down a basket on a string out of our bedroom window, which had bars on it.

Having to eat our meals staring at a huge reproduction of Picasso's Guernica. Gave me nightmares.

skinnymuffin Thu 03-Nov-11 22:17:13

Homemade gooseberry fool for pudding

watching Wonder Woman on a B&W tv (and snooker late at night!)

playing wist (whist?) and betting with matchstalks

my grandad whistling

tea in a white china cup, painted with pink roses

long life milk, open on a shelf in the larder

house shoes, house coats, best butter and rounds of bread


enormously high beds with squishy mattresses, and layers of flannel sheets, with a long string above which dangled from the big light

plastic Virgin Marys filled with Holy Water from Lourdes

a sideboard containing condiments, a biscuit tin, a box of beads, old cards and photos, lined with ends of wallpaper

little Hummel figures around the fireplace

music boxes

reckoning up

White plastic Christmas trees with coloured fairy lights, each with their own (spikey) coloured plastic shade (which never matched the colour of the bulb) - no other lights on except the tv while watching the Royal Variety Performance

'noggin time' instead of 'wine o'clock'

false teeth and the gummy smile once removed

trips on the bus to the shops or seaside with bags of pennies saved for slot machines

apples pies, custard pies, fairy cakes, lemon meringues

nylon dresses in size 18 and 20, shoes in size 3 and 4

horn rimmed specs, the smell of hair setting lotion

loose baggy skin covered in liver spots which didn't spring back when fiddled with but felt softer than soft to the touch

a leather bowling bag with three gold initials

endless, endless smiles and cuddles that conveyed a very particular kind of love that no-one else will or could ever feel for you for the rest of your life

<tears are streaming now>

perplexedpirate Thu 03-Nov-11 22:21:46

Donkey stoning the back yard endlessly, not because it needed it, just for pleasure, and my Nan saying "Ooh, I think you've gone right through to the last layer there!" and me believing her!
The smell of baking bread and Zoflora.
Playing school with a coffee table and a buffet as a desk.
Being taught countless crafts like embroidery, knitting and quilling, many of which I have now forgotten blush
My Grandad (confided to a wheelchair through MS) telling me stories and showing me his photo albums of the war and his and my Nan's youth.
Feeling totally, totally safe and loved in a way I never did at home. smile

My nan passed away last year and we've done the house up beautifully for my brother and sil. It's stunning, everything's top of the range, but it's never going to be the same sad

Oh man. Shouldn't have started this.

How amazing are Grandparents.

beags1971 Thu 03-Nov-11 22:22:13

Love, love this thread. Mine have been gone far too long.

Antimacassars and brylcream
The bar on the corner full of little glasses collected from all over the uk
Nanas pile of womans own and womans realm
Making the trip to the paper shop to buy the red tops then coming back and filling in the bingo cards with grandad (about 100 of them)
elevenses and supper - 2 meals that didn't exist at home and almost always involved custard creams, kitkats and apple pies (and a shandy at supper when i got older)
Nanas fabulous jewellery box
Watching pot black and come dancing on a black and white tv
Oil of ulay
Grandads shaving brush
Singing and dancing
Flowery silk headscarves and Small plastic packages that unfolded into waterproof headscarves
Sunday best clothes
Bedtime: electric blankets, prayers and a small glass music box with 2 little butterflies that plays edelweiss. Which now makes me either smile or cry every time i play it

nenehooo Thu 03-Nov-11 22:23:29

Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

perplexedpirate Thu 03-Nov-11 22:27:41

And a little crocheted thing with beads on to cover the milk jug.
And a butter dish.
The one time my nan ever swore was when my brother gave her a Monster Munch and she said "Oh ManPerp, you do eat some shite". I thought the world was about to end!

petitdonkey Thu 03-Nov-11 22:43:23

What a truly lovely thread. I'm feeling very sad that I never knew any of my Grandparents as they were all gone before I was born.

I can already see how special it is for my children when they are with their grandparents so hope that they will have many memories.

meglet Thu 03-Nov-11 22:45:16

My paternal grandparents house;

Lighting the fire in the morning. God, how I loved slotting the bits of paper and bits of wood in and watching the fire get going <<pyromaniac>>. The coal man used to delivery the coal every week.

Gran watching Coronation Street. Grandad listening to cricket (usually banished to the bedroom for that).

Walking the dog with Grandad.

Cramming the leftover meat into the mincer (that was clamped to the table) and churning it all though, and usually scoffing a fair bit of it as I went along.

Being totally impressed that Gran could bake without weighing things and could look at a measure of flour / butter / sugar and know it was right.

Grandad used to stop the car and pick up horse manure whenever we drove past some on the road, he kept a shovel and few bags in the boot of his car for this purpose. His roses were pretty damn good though.

I didn't get to spend much time at my maternal Grandpa's house as he worked (university lecturer IIRC) although we saw him quite a lot. Nanny was always in a psychiatric hospital, I never saw her in her house, she did come to our house on high days and holidays. I do have fond memories of the hospital though, there was always loads of room to run around blush.

The last one died in 2005. I hate not having living Grandparents anymore sad.

Going to bed in my grandad's office, on a little, narrow pull-down bed that he hid behind some silky curtains with tie-backs that he'd made himself. Listening to the noise of cars on the distant Bypass. It was always The Bypass - I didn't know there were any others!

There was a huge, shiny radiogram in that room that worried me slightly. I didn't know how it worked and couldn't quite believe that it was just for playing the radio.

Grandad's oil-paintings, all from 1960's magazines teaching you how to paint certain set-pieces. I thought they were all unique until I started seeing them in jumble sales!

My brother slept in my uncle's old room and it was full of his batchelor odds and sods.

Meddling with my grandma's little cut-glass dishes and whatnot on her dressing table, and once breaking an expensive bottle of her perfume. My grandad told me 'You should be horse-whipped!' and I was so shocked that he'd say that. (He didn't.)

The strange modular bookcase/display cabinet in the living room, with all their Readers' Digest books and the atlas. The ugly gilt convex mirror on the hall wall. The carved wooden animals and masks on the curtain pelmet, brought back from Kenya.

Playing my mother's old musical box from Switzerland. And her old, chipped clay figures from Disney films. The Aristocats. Lady and the Tramp.

This is all maternal gps. I don't know why I don't have better memories of my other gps, because we stayed with them for a month every summer.

lisalisa Thu 03-Nov-11 22:52:36

notanotter - you mentioned " chillo" ice cream. I was in an advert for that when I was a child!

Yes this thread is very heartwarming.

I remember my grandma's delicious scrambled eggs. I used to call them grandma cissie eggs and to this day I have never managed to recreate them. I remember her soft blue eyeshadow and pink and white china ( each meal was served on best china) and her fantastically large cupboard where food was stored even though she lived in a small suburban flat.

I remember my camp bed in her lounge and going to sleep hearing the trains rumble by.

And going to the hairdresser to watch her have her hair set each saturday . The hairdresser was called Mrs Mathie and used to give me a chocolate!

I loved her so much and still miss her terribly today. She has been gone for 14 years.

I also remember my other grandparents who lived in teh country. I remember my grandma taking me to see the lambs who lived in a field at teh bottom of her road. I used to think my grandma was much like the lambs as she had such a soft and bleaty type voice. I remmber my grandpa always reading the times and playing the piano.

I feel very sad and nostalgic now

trixymalixy Thu 03-Nov-11 23:13:40

Izal toilet paper
Euthymol toothpaste
Fried bananas with our cooked breakfast
The best fish and chips known to man with homemade pickled beetroot
The smell of the larder
Homegrown goosegogs and peas
Rhubarb dipped in sugar
Chanel no 5
Wearing grandpa's old shirts as "wee willie winkie" nightshirts
Vegetable soup with pasta letters in
Drinking asti out of silver goblets at Christmas time
Tea in our own individual cups and saucers
Irn bru out of melamine cups
The cabinet of miniatures
A tuppeny wash and brush up
Mince n tatties with far too much butter
The smell of the compost heap
The swing

trixymalixy Thu 03-Nov-11 23:19:40

Love this thread, but it has really made me blub!!

ShowOfHands Thu 03-Nov-11 23:19:57

When my Grandma was in Bretby hospital "having me knees done", she was in a high-ceilinged ward with wooden floors, wrought iron beds and a stern, unforgiving matron made entirely out of starch. A kind young nurse snuck us in (no children allowed) and my Grandma was so proud of her grandchildren, showing us off to the other patients and beaming. She whispered tales to us of the cursed tree in the hospital grounds and we were enthralled. She moved on to tales of how her and my Grandad had courted there aged 16 and innocent, until the war broke out and everything changed. I honest to God can close my eyes and I'm still perched on that bed, my eyes watering from the smell of disinfectant and I can hear my Grandma's voice whispering about when she was a girl. Ohhhh.

But her actual house?

Strange felt on the table instead of a tablecloth. It made your insides twist if your rubbed it the wrong way. Weird stuff.

Glass plates and matching glass mugs with bobbled edges and textured middles.

Homemade icecream sandwiched between cheap wafers.

The smell of the cheap kitchen lino and how the back door squeaked across it.

The bannister rail which had been repainted every 5 years and had about 10 layers of cheap paint plastered upon it so that it felt spongy under your hand as you wound your way up to bed.

The pictures of plates cut from the back pages of terrible womens magazines stuck on the spare bedroom wall. I'd sleep in there and Grandma told me they were portals to other worlds. I wanted to go through the portal of the meadow, not the Coronation and how I wished for it every night.

The smell of sausages waking you up.

Visiting at Christmas, jumping in the car on the last day of term, the sky already darkening and proudly telling Grandma 3 hours later, exhausted but excited how many Christmas trees you'd counted on the way.

The memories are just so, so vivid. The smells, textures, colours. I could walk that house blindfolded.

She's very old now, dependent on my Dad for almost everything and since my Grandad died she's quietly withdrawn in increments. The day she moved out of that house, I wept.

Gillybobs Thu 03-Nov-11 23:55:48

Crazy wallpaper on the fireplace wall that hypnotised me

Home made apple sponge served with cold milk

Watching Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks on a Saturday afternoon

Mums younger sisters ignoring me as they painted their nails before going out

A nice low living room window where I could watch the world go by

Being spooked by the unused bedrooms upstairs

A manky old flea-ridden caravan that lay outside unused for years as after Gran paid £50 for it without seeing it

A rambling great house that was mostly empty - Granny only lived in a few rooms.

She mooned about in an elaborate kaftan and a plastic golf visor, smoking the occasional secret Kensitas cigarette - there was a huge stash of them in the bureau and she was convinced that nobody knew.

She wrote to politicians, endlessly. Many wrote back regularly - she considered them friends. There were piles and piles of yellowing letters in the drawing room, on the end of the sofa, which was festooned with layer-upon-layer of throws, shawls and blankets.

In her youth, she was a protester for many human rights causes - including equal suffrage rights for women when she was a student during WWI. Again, piles of books, notebooks, correspondence - spilling out of cabinets, stuffed under old leather chairs. The smell of fusty paper.

I remember her battered old piano. When she died, I was given her Mozart Sonata albums. On her favourite pieces, the bottom right-hand corners of the pages still have a slightly grubby, thumbed appearance, from all the page turns. Her grubby marks - sort of part of her, still there in the music.

CheerfulYank Fri 04-Nov-11 03:29:27

My paternal grandparents: Writing with chalk on my grandparent's steps. Swinging on their porch swing in the dark. My brother running up and down the stairs with the threadbare shag carpeting...we didn't have stairs in our house at the time and thought they were just fabulous. grin My grandma making homemade sausage pizza. We thought it was great because it was rectangular and therefore different and special. My grandpa has been gone for a long time, but my grandmother is only in her 70's. I will call her tomorrow. smile

My maternal grandparents: My grandmother's antiques and knick knacks on every available surface. Her old hats and gloves that she let me dress up in. The cold brick of their kitchen floor. My grandfather...oh, I miss him. I had him for a decade longer than my grandmother, and I loved him so much. He died a little over five years ago. He used to send me buckeyes (are they the same as conkers?) because they were considered good luck in his state. When DH and DS and I moved into our new house, the yard was full of them. We have a tree in the front yard, the only time I've ever seen them here. Whenever I'm raking them up in the fall I think of him.

MissBetsyTrotwood Fri 04-Nov-11 08:17:21

A larder. A proper, stocked to the ceiling with goodies, chilly old larder.

MissBetsyTrotwood Fri 04-Nov-11 08:19:37

TalcAndTurnips I want to be like that when I get old. She sounds amazing. And how beautifully written, too. Lovely.

ScaryFairy28 Fri 04-Nov-11 08:22:03

Love this post.
Being allowed to eat sugar cubes, picnics in the snow, dancing around with the music on so loud we couldn't hear the door bell and DG, me and my sister all sleeping in the one bed, my gran getting up for a cup of tea during the night (it was actually gin, she had a bit of an issue.)

Other GP's the smell of damp and parsley in the badly built extension, my Gdad's shed with jars of screws etc he found in the street, hunting in the shed for toys left from when my dad and his many brothers and sisters were kids.

Maternal grandmother:
- The air raid shelter in the garden (being used as a compost bin) that freaked the shit out of me
- The outside loo that ALWAYS had the most enormous spider lurking in or around it
- 70s wallpaper
- Huge bag of slightly faded and very well used lego
- Muppets annual c1973
- Mum's possessions with her maiden name written on them
- Using her antique (and probably supposedly decorative) toasting fork to make toast on the gas fire
- AMAZING fish and chips
- Chasing my sister around with the antique (and probably supposedly decorative) bed warming pan pretending it was a crocodile

Paternal grandfather:
- Concrete blocks with my handprints in on the patio
- YELLING everything because he was deaf as a post
- His handmade gadgets for coping with his deafness (lightbulb over his bed that flashed when the postman came through the garden gate in the morning, phone belt that vibrated when the phone rang)
- Corned beef rissoles (the only thing he seemed to know how to cook)
- Handmade toys
- Origami crocodiles
- Walking on the garage roof (house was on a slope with the garage cut into the side of the hill, you could just walk onto it from the garden. Didn't make mum happy about it)
- EVIL border collie called Billy
- The Secret Passageway: the loft was in the eves of the house with a door in each bedroom and you could creep from one to another

33goingon64 Fri 04-Nov-11 08:35:47

All MN-ers on this thread: I really hope that all our DCs have such fond memories of all our parents, and that their DCs remember us in the same way. I fear that a lot of the rituals and traditions we all loved will have fallen by the wayside by the time we have grandkids. I hope their memories won't all be 'sitting round the telly watching Strictly and going shopping in Ikea'.

ShowOfHands Fri 04-Nov-11 08:52:09

DD is very fortunate to have 2 grandmas, 2 grandads, 4 great grandmas, 1 great grandad and 1 great, great grandma, all of whom she is v close to. If she has memories of strictly it'll be standing on grandad's feet and twirling around to the music. grin

In all seriousness, I didn't think I could face a 2nd child after a tough time with dd and it took my Mum being diagnosed with cancer for me to realise how important it was for any dc I have to experience my Mum as a Grandma. 9 months later, ds was born. He's 9wo and asleep on my chest and this thread has made me excited for him. He's got some cracking grandparents and dd already has her own rituals established with each of them.

goingon64 I was thinking something similar in bed last night (crazy, this thread stayed with me until I finally fell asleep with more and more memories sharpening into focus)

It occured to me that Nan was only 40 when I was born (egads, I'm almost 38... <narrows eyes at DD16 in a 'don't you DARE!' way>) and that although they had the shop for a number of years, she only worked part time whilst they did. Not at all when they didn't.

Won't most of us still be in, or have returned to, the workforce by the time our GC's arrive? Won't we simply be too bloody knackered to makes these memories that seem to revolve around a Nanna spending much time in the kitchen or playing with the GC?

All I know is that today, I'm habouring a firm commitment to make sure my GC (not yet, DD, not yet!) feel the all encompassing unconditional love I did, however we spend our time. I think that's what will really matter.

ShowOfHands Fri 04-Nov-11 09:51:42

My parents and the ILs work full time. And it's just a different set of memories. DD adores going into their places of work. MIL's office has a swivelly chair and a box of elastic bands which she plays with, my Dad is a fishmonger and he teaches her about the different fish (and chases her with fish heads!), my Mum lets her help cut out fabric (seamstress) and play with the button box etc and they all show her off to their colleagues and give her 'jobs' to do. And at the weekends they still do all the gardening, baking, memory making stuff I did.

In fact dd's great grandad has his own business building houses. Having free run of the shell of a house is something I remember from our house being built.

I was awake last night too thinking about my grandma's front room.

issynoko Fri 04-Nov-11 09:54:08

teeth in a glass
'basket of old toot' to play with
Sunday roast
Enamel dish of apple pie with 10,000 cloves
Lloyd Loom chairs in the garden
forbidden shed full of poison
2 pear trees
'You are my Sunshine'
poking a hair clip through holes in the pink satin quilt
weak shandy
Coronation button box
china dishes of sweets
'the mauve room' - never carpeted and full of boxes
the smell of sherry
red setters who lived next door
old fashioned phone
glass panel above the bedroom door
snooker, George Formby films and wrestling
Smart high heels

MrsKwazii Fri 04-Nov-11 10:13:43

Pots of stew that Grandad would bung stuff into over a few days (we never ate it!)

The smell of lift grease in the hallway of the flats they live in

The telephone table with a flip-up address book in the hallway

The luxury of an indoor loo- ours was still outside

Mixing Nanny's Scotch and cokes from an early age wink

jugglingwithgoldandmyrhh Fri 04-Nov-11 11:17:17

Oohh, I've always wondered about "anti-macassars" Issy ?

JulesJules Fri 04-Nov-11 11:36:10

Oh this thread is so evocative!

I remember my grandparents house as being absolutely HUGE (of course I was very small) with fantastic views - it was in the Lake District.

Going for walks - Aira Force and Tarn Hows were two of the favourites, and boat trips on Derwentwater.

Walking on frozen lakes in the winter.

Grandma was a fabulous cook, she made the best Sunday lunch ever - the memory still makes my mouth water, even though I don't eat meat now. Amazing Yorkshire pudding which Grandpa had as a starter with gravy.

Cucumber and onion salad with vinegar.

Homemade bilberry pie and cream, "Everything in moderation" she would say as she LADLED the cream over.


Snowballs to drink on Xmas Day (yes - for the kids!)

Tins of Quality Street.

"Coffee buns" with coffee.

Making lemon curd.

Making toffee and then breaking it into pieces with a toffee hammer. Sometimes it turned out as fudge.

The sound of the Grandfather clock ticking and chiming. It stood in the hall, next to the Lang settle - a sort of wooden seat, a bit like a church pew.

Sitting next to GranGran (Great Grandma) in the kitchen next to the Aga while she told me stories.

Their car - inside was basically two leather sofas. I used to sit in the front next to Grandpa with a rug over my knees. Tin of Mintoes in the glove compartment.


JulesJules Fri 04-Nov-11 11:37:24

Oh and they also collected milk bottle tops for guide dogs!

aquashiv Fri 04-Nov-11 11:56:03

My only memory of my grandfather is deciding to bite his backside as he bent down to tend to his fire. I was two. I do remember the commotion that took place afterwards. I was a strange child

Ineedcake Fri 04-Nov-11 11:57:38

I only ever knew my grandmas. Loads of memories!

At one of my grandma's (still here with us smile ):

- Playing monopoly or card games - my grandma would always console me when I lost to my older brother with "lucky at cards, unlucky in love"

- Little tassel fringing on the bottom of her settee

- Coasters with birds on them

- Really soft, squishy pillows

- Bunk beds

- Real lemonade

At the other's (sadly passed away about 15 years ago):

- Tins of quality street

- Playing her piano (or trying to)

- Rooms full of smoke from her and her sister smoking!

- Their strong irish accents

HSMM Fri 04-Nov-11 11:57:59

The funny pair of doors that we could close either side of us and pretend we were in a lift (or anywhere really).

The rock solid pears we used to eat off her tree.

The big tin cups we could play with in the bath.

Her miniature liquor bottles (which I would love to drink now).

Sugar sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

Porridge that we couldn't eat until it had volcanoes in it.

The HUGE tree that grew practically horizontally, so we could climb all through it (until it fell down).

DrNortherner Fri 04-Nov-11 12:02:22

I only ever knew my maternal grandma, she is still alive today and 85 years old smile

I am an only child, but my Mum is one of 6 girls so lots of cousins, and every saturday we would all go to Gran's house, these are my memories:

Gran dressing me and my cousin up (we were the only girls) as a bride each using old net curtains

Playing Newmarket with all the family on the dining room table for coppers and being delighted when I won a pile of 1ps!

Gran making scones, and toffee apples for bonfire night

Dancing and singing to Rene and Renata's record with my cousin (she was Renata and I was Rene) and the whole family watching and laughing

Her cupboard under the stairs that we made our den

A great big stool that fitted 5 kids on at meal times, after dinner we would turn it upside dowm, sit in it and pretend it was a boat.

Good times.

Ineedcake Fri 04-Nov-11 12:05:49

Ooh it's all coming flooding back now...

Eating peas from the pods in the garden
Bath time and having one of those toy watermills (which I loved so much we've now bought DS one!)
Her toilet roll holder which was a doll, with its skirt covering the toilet roll (!)
Watching old films on the telly - grandma in her chair by the window
Crunch! (flapjack)

Could go on and on

kitstwins Fri 04-Nov-11 12:15:54

My paternal grandparents. Lived in a lovely house by a farm. All tocking grandfather clocks and big furniture that seemed huge to tiny old me.

- Shelling peas straight into our mouths from the field.
- Granny in her quilted bed jacket and lending me one when I was 12 and cold in the morning. I felt SO grown up. It was peach quilted silk with bracelet sleeves. It was the only thing I wanted when she died (six years ago) and no one could find it.
- The old table tennis table in the clapped out stable block. My brother and I would play hours of ping pong with the roof practically falling on our heads
- Piles of blankets on the bed. Granny didn't do duvets.
- An amazing green jug that would make a strange glugging noise when you poured from it. Custard would sound like quicksand.
- Granny smoking sly Dunhills with my father (neither of them smoked - apparently!) and my Grandfather drawing a big eye on a piece of paper and sticking it around the door to show they were being spied upon!
- Trying on her fur coats and rings and tripping about the house.
- Their wonderful, fat old bull terrier called Nina who had teeth like razor blades but was as gentle as a lamb.
- Best of all was coming home from boarding school and arriving home and she and Grandpa were THERE on the step waiting for us.

sherbetpips Fri 04-Nov-11 12:20:28

the sound of a proper teacup and saucer as it rattled in grandad's shaky hands.
Pictures of corgies, everywhere (not not the queen)
jack russels with floppy ears
musty dark green armchairs
pretending we were in hammer house of horrors and grandad scaring the bejeebies out of us

sherbetpips Fri 04-Nov-11 12:21:33

@kitswins - loving the eye around the corner!

antrimum Fri 04-Nov-11 12:46:41

The smell of my granny's boiled potatoes and butter for lunch when mum was working and she was keeping me for the day...

The lovely big feather duvet in the high double bed I stayed in at the weekend...

The smell of my granny's headscarves and coats that hung on the coathooks down the hallway...

My paternal grandmother's lemon meringue - yum!

Making pancakes with my maternal grandmother and eating them when they just came off the gridle, (could never quite master her method of getting them just a lovely golden colour on both sides)

My maternal grandmother's chocolate cakes - she baked one for each of the grandkids (5 of us in total) 21st birthdays and froze them, she died about 2 years before my 21st and it was still absolutely delicious!!

And finally, my fondest memory of my late granny, when she was seriously ill with cancer and just before she died, she stayed at our house as our grandfather was unable to look after her on his own. The Marie Curie nurses (God bless them every one) came at night to look after her. One afternoon about a week before she passed away, my mum's brother and his kids came to visit and she was lying in the front bedroom in bed, quite tired and very incoherent due to the medication she was on. My cousin and I were both about to take our practical driving test around the same time and were talking about it. All of a sudden, she threw back the duvet and was ready to get out of bed. In shock, we all jumped up ready to assist her in case she stumbled and asked what was wrong or if she needed the loo. She said, very matter-of-factly, "I'm going to do my driving test!" We were all so happy that she had been taking in what we had been talking about that we collapsed in laughter. This will be my lifelong memory of my darling grandmother... Love you always Granny H xxx

HildaOgdensMidden Fri 04-Nov-11 13:18:15

playing with my grandads 'silver' armband bracelet elasticky things that kept his sleeves up or something

the little wooden step ladder that i had to sit on if there were too many people at dinner for me to have a proper chair

the glass vinegar bottle with the little lid you poured the vinegar into (I nabbed this when the house was cleared and it's in my kitchen now)

bringing down the christmas decorations, all carefully boxed in individual cardboard trays

the dining table that me and my cousin hid under and played with our toy people on the ornate wooden legs

the stained glass window in the front-door-that-nobody-ever-used

my grandma coming into the lounge and announcing to a room of people that my elder cousin (who would've been at least 20 at the time) had a "problem with her vad-jinner" blush

oohlaalaa Fri 04-Nov-11 13:24:52

My grandparents, have had 4 homes between them, as they have downsized, but there is only one that stands out with me.

It was a farmhouse, with a courtyard and a brick wall to walk along, traditional buildings to play in, chickens, cats and a dog. There was also an orchard, fruit garden, green house and vegatable garden.

In the barn, we'd play in the straw, and make dens, and then drawer maps, so we could find our dens again.

My favourite memories are eating the peas, picking raspeberries, blackberries and gooseberries.

I also loved the house, especially the breakfast room, and the welsh dresser (I still need to buy my dream dresser). It was not smart (really rather tumbled down, no fitted kitchen or shower, and in need of central heating and rewiring), but I loved it.

When we stayed we'd get up at 6am to jump into bed with grandparents and sing nursery rhymes, we then got up to feed the cats and collect the eggs with grandma, when we got in we'd have porridge and pancakes. We'd usually then work in the garden (it was their great love) with grandparents. We may even make some raspberry jelly, pickle some onions, or help with fresh pea soup (our favourite) for lunch.

Later on, we may get on my grandad's old tractor to go to the bottom meadows and fish along the river, or feed the pheasants (he had a family shoot).

It was the good life, and we loved it.

They sold the farmhouse when I was about 11 years old, and although the next property was modern and beautiful, it was not the higgledy piggledy farmhouse that I loved.

They kept hold of the farmland as an investment, and always had a rental income from this. I still get to walk the farmland.

Prforone Fri 04-Nov-11 13:32:50

Pink candlewick bedspreads on the beds and a huge Singer sewing machine under the stairs smile

Stangirl Fri 04-Nov-11 13:48:50

My memories are of my maternal grandma and great uncle, her brother (my grandpa died when I was very little). They had lived together their entire lives and rowed in the way only a brother and sister can. We would often turn up and find them not speaking to each other other some minor disagreement - it was hilarious.

Their house was full of broken things that they thought "still had some life in 'em" and so she was always burning herself with pans with broken handles or cutting herself on chipped cookware.

Her children had to wrestle clapped out white goods out of her house as they bought replacements.

Best though was her dressing table covered in costume jewellery that I played with endlessly and her bedside table with racy bodice ripper books that I read when I was about 12.

Her meat pies and homemade faggots.

Her heavily bejewelled hands and wrists that I would play with as she bounced me on her knees singing songs from the 40s.

FannyNil Fri 04-Nov-11 13:52:40

Long time ago but the old black range in the kitchen, the Staffordshire oatcakes with bacon for breakfast and the dresser in the dining room (now in my dining room).

ProgressivePatriot Fri 04-Nov-11 14:16:13

my grandma's lavender water
Minced beef and dumplings (they didn't cook much else)
Blue, fine bone china cups and saucers
Starched white tablecloth
High-backed armchairs with wooden legs
Flock wallpaper
A house that seemed to go up and up and on and on forever;so many places to hide
endless cups of tea
big tins of crumbling biscuits
the parade of moggies hanging round the back door and the garden waiting for scraps
little bits of soap collected in a jar to make 'jelly'
big juicy tomatoes that actually tasted like tomato

OrmIrian Fri 04-Nov-11 14:16:58

I just realised that both my grannies died almost 30 yrs ago now! I never met my grandfathers.

They inhabited a different world - looking back to their houses and their ways of life, it's more like a different universe.

mathanxiety Fri 04-Nov-11 14:41:11

One set had a little thatched farmhouse with dogs permanently stretched across the huge ancient flag outside the green-painted Dutch door. They were farm dogs awaiting their next mission and never moved for anyone except my uncle or grandad. They would look up amiably at you as you picked your way through the tangle of legs and tails trying to get in, and complicated your task by flapping their tails in friendly manner. I remember old paint cans painted dark green with geraniums planted in them on the outside windowsills, incredibly thick stone walls, old flagstones in the kitchen and a fireplace you could stand in and look up, with a hob and griddle, a slight smell of Kosangas from the more modern cooker granny also used, an icon of Pope Paul VI in the far corner of the kitchen near the table with a little red light constantly illuminating it, and a fly paper hung from the ceiling near the door. Granny, dressed always in a floral smock over her clothes, baked lovely shortbread and the kitchen always seemed warm. The little house had been there, tucked into the yard, away from the road down a lane lined with whitewashed dry stone walls for centuries, and you could feel that.

A few miles away, granny and an aunt and my aunt's little dog (whom we thought was our cousin when we were very small) lived in a Georgian dower house filled with lovely things from India and China -- in particular I loved two large watercolours of paddy field scenes done in tones of gold and terracotta that hung in the dining room. There was a huge engraving of a Roman chariot race in the hall, a scene of great drama and dreadfulness. When I close my eyes I can still smell the beeswax-polished wood, the roast, the roses, madeira cake and newly baked bread. We slid down the bannisters and used the drawing room furniture as gymnastics apparatus, and spent hours wandering through the orchard and the kitchen garden, climbing the trees lining the long avenue; on one occasion I got a lump of resin from a pine stuck in my hair that proved resistant to any effort of my aunt's to remove it, so I had to have a good deal of my hair cut off. There was a goldfish pond near the gate from the garden to the yard, with broken pieces of old china lining the murky bottom, pond weeds, lilies and the occasional flash of brilliant orange in the depths. Granny had a little greenhouse off the drawing room where two small peach trees braved the elements. I remember the smell and softness of the ripe peach she presented me with one morning for breakfast and chatting with her about places she had lived where even more exotic fruit grew.

JugglingWithGoldandMyrhh Fri 04-Nov-11 14:45:24

Dear MNHQ - Can it go in classics please ? - it's brought a tear to many eyes ...
And makes us think about building memories for our DC's too smile
- although I don't think there's any fear that that's happening !

YokoOhNo Fri 04-Nov-11 14:51:06

Blankets with satin edging and sheets on the bed, which made for very heavy bedclothes

Spending hours rummaging through my gran's button and sewing box, thinking I was tidying it for her.

Getting dried next to the old gas fire in the back sitting room after my bath

Playing with her ornaments - she never seemed to mind or worry I might break them. My own Monica Geller mum wouldn't have let me near her breakables!

Getting a 'starter' for my tea, which was always either a melon with a glacee cherry or a half of grapefruit with a glacee cherry on top. Pudding was always the best ice-cream in the whole world, from the tiny Italian cafe up the road which shed buy especially for me, just before I arrived because she didn't have a freezer.

Making drop pancakes and playing Gin Rummy every Sunday morning. The pancake griddle was my gran's most prized possession. It had been her mother's and it was never washed, just wiped clean every time. And I've just worked out that as my Gran was born in 1918 when her mother was 41, that means the pancake griddle was about 90 years old when I was using it. My aunt still uses it smile

I'm getting teary writing this - I loved my gran so much. She never met DS

CheerfulYank Fri 04-Nov-11 15:08:16

I remember my great-grandparents too. Their names were Stanton and Irene, and they came from backwoods Kentucky. They moved to a little house on a side street in a mid-sized Ohio city, which was "moving up" in their world.

I don't have any memories of my Great-Grandpa Stant except of him sitting in a plaid armchair and watching "wrasslin' " (the professional wrestling on TV). He ate chocolates and mixed nuts. Once he had a chocolate box that played music when you opened it, and he let me open it as many times as I wanted. It drove everyone else mad, but he told them to leave me be. smile I was probably about 4.

My Great-Grandma believe in all sorts of old wive's tales and omens and such, but was not a religious woman in the traditional sense. Though she did often tell my father that she worried I would die as a child, because I was too happy and you weren't supposed to be so happy except for in Heaven. hmm When I got older I would ask her what she was like when she was young and she would say, "Well, I had coal-black hair." That was about all she'd say. smile She died when I was 18 and I'm thankful I had so many years with her.

There were no toys at their house, just plain paper, pens, playing cards, and a family of china cats that I was not supposed to touch. And yet my brother and I never complained of boredom there because we were terrified of incurring their wrath. smile We were never so well-behaved!

3kids3cats Fri 04-Nov-11 15:21:19

My Nana as opposed to "Flowers in the Attic grandmother"
Huge mural of mountains and ducks
Roasted chestnuts on gas fire
Secret drawer full of bling!
Royal albert tea service
Tea leaf reading
Wrestling on the telly and nana shouting 'rip his head off'!!!!

She was fab!

FellatioNelson Fri 04-Nov-11 15:51:20

YYY classics please, this thread is gorgeous.

Shodan Fri 04-Nov-11 16:14:04

At Big Grandad and Nanny Peggy's house- always a box of Good Weekend (does anyone else remember those) on the shelf of the coffee table; Big Grandad squeaking his hands together for my amusement; a sticker on the bedroom window saying 'Do not open until Christmas'; mad green curtains with violent flower patterns in orange on; a pristine garden (Big Grandad's pride and joy); a particular smell which I can't describe but always says 'old people' to me- sort of musty, not unpleasant; and a memory from when my Nanny had died and Big Grandad was very ill- reins for a show I was in made from red ribbons and silver bells.

At Grandad Jim and Nanny Saucepan's house; sitting room overheated with a gas fire; butterfly fairy cakes; Tuc biscuits; lemonade flattened with a spoonful of sugar (I don't know why!); a Formica dining table in the kitchen; another pristine garden (Grandad Jim's pride and joy); a very steep staircase to the loo.

Helena77 Fri 04-Nov-11 16:17:58

Cotton reels in a box of 'toys' which was basically just bits and bobs that we used as toys. What would kids today think!

Thinking the cellar in her back-to-back house was the most exciting place in the world

The cosy, damp warmth of it all

SheepAreSuper Fri 04-Nov-11 16:29:34

This is a lovely thread.

The pouffes that we used to fight over to sit on (two of them and three of us) to watch Highway on a Sunday evening.
The sugar spoon with Jesus on the end of it.
The boy clown ornament that played Send in the Clowns and the glasses with ceraminc mice inside and cats climbing up.
A spoonful of sugar in a cup of fizzy pop to 'stop the fizz' and rot our teeth
Hours spent pretending to drive grandads car.
The scary and totally imaginary woodpecker (think Woody rather than little bird) that lived upstairs and scared the bejesus out of me.
Oxtail soup with bits of bread 'fishes' in it.
The lovely boucy soft lawn with flowerbeds full of fuschias.
The small and feel of geranium leaves and tomatoes in the greenhouse.
The rescued hedgehogs that were kept in the house and de-flead in the kitchen sink.
The hordes and hoardes of elecronics in the garage and spare room salavged from skips and brought from junk shops.
The girls comic books nan brought for me every week without fail for years.

They were my maternal GPs and I miss them every day.

My paternal grandad died before I was born but I have wonderful memories of my nan who:
Took me to bingo on Saturday night and brought me coca cola and crisps.
Taught me how to play cards (playing hours and hours of Strip Jack Naked)
Watched only darts, snooker, the football results (for the pools) or countdown and spent almost all day every day knitting squares for blankets.
If we were sick fed us brandy...not Indian Brandee but the proper stuff, warmed with a table spoon of sugar. Not sure my parents ever knew.

She was fab and I miss her too.

trixymalixy Fri 04-Nov-11 16:31:23

I have a trunk full of teacups and linen and brooches and miniatures that belonged to my gran. I really wish I'd taken more as I think a lot of her stuff was just thrown out when she died. I love using it all, we drank pink fizz from her teacups at the royal wedding. Think I'll get some out to use this weekend inspired by this thread.

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-Nov-11 16:56:58


YYY classics please, this thread is gorgeous.

Ok, as you asked so nicely, consider it moved.

I remember my Nan dipping toast into her tea and my Granddad making THE BEST boiled eggs and toast soldiers EVER

I wish my children could have met them sad

Nannyloobs Fri 04-Nov-11 16:58:18

Awww......lovely to hear everyone's memories.

Mine, me and my sis being in the front room,a nd playing robbers, taking off all the sofa cushions, playing hide and seek in the pantry, cleaning the bathroom, my grandma's pull down bed, the boiler in the guest room, her jewellery, and perfumes in her bedroom, the garden shed, the cocker spaniel called Kerry, roast dinners, afternoon walks, late nights driving back home on the motorway, rolling up my grandad's tie, grandad's bicycle, ahhh, so many memories.

From my other nan, playing the piano, ginger biscuits and lemonade, watching countdown, singing, breaking the loo roll holder in her bathroom, the freezing outside loo downstairs, brown coloured hall way, her whiskers, her love of cats, her rose arch in the garden, again, so many memories. sad Happy ones, but sad to think about them at the same time.....

whitecloud Fri 04-Nov-11 17:04:18

What a lovely thread!

My Nana's home-made cherry buns.
Royal Scot and currant shortcake biscuits - Grandad's favourites.
The smell of geraniums in the greenhouse.
The earthy smell in the potting shed.
Looking out on Grandad's beautiful garden - red and peach rose trees and loads of other flowers.
Walking to the rec with Grandad to play on the swings and slides.
Getting into bed with Nana and talking for ages.
Singing Gracie Field's "Sally" with Nana and other "Good Old Days" music hall songs.
Oops, I now realise I'm older than most of you. My grandparents have been gone for many years but what precious memories.

cuteboots Fri 04-Nov-11 17:20:37

her house always smelt of baking and cakes.
sitting on her knee while she read me stories.
She always had knitting on the go.
Curling up on the sofa and falling asleep whilst she stroked my hair
The frilly apron she use to wear and her shouting at my grandad to take his filthy boots off .

ohmeohmy Fri 04-Nov-11 17:31:54

Chocolate cake
Sitting under lemon tree for nibbling chocolate cake before it was cooled
Dettol in bath
Grandpa sitting watching tv with Labrador on lap, granny with Siamese cat on hers
Fold out card table
Thick bread with butter
Hair rollers
Old singer sewing machine
Practising handwriting ... Hers was beautful

CheerfulYank Fri 04-Nov-11 17:58:07

Helena my DS would probably be thrilled with a box of odds and ends to play with! smile

Sigh...no one is ever in your corner quite like your grandparents, are they? I get so irritated because my mother lets DS get away with murder, but this thread has got me thinking. It's just a granparent's job, isn't it?

trixymalixy Fri 04-Nov-11 18:22:29

I remember my Mum complaining that my Gran gave us too many sweets, guess what she does now?!?!?

Grandparent's prerogative.

ForwardOcho Fri 04-Nov-11 18:27:11

I wonder what our grandchildren will think of us in years time?
whitecloud not older than everyone!
My paternal grandparents - who I rarely saw - were like curiosities to me. They lived in a tiny miners cottage in West Yorkshire, with one room downstairs which had a range and a stone sink, and one room upstairs. Gran's pantry was always full of home baked things which I had never seen before, and grandad grew all his own veg in the garden in front of the tiny house. They had 3 kids, who I think slept on the landing, and a shared ash netty down the lane which was strewn with cinders. My mother, who was a complete snob, really looked down on them - I guess that was why I didn't see much of them - but I thought going to their house was like Narnia.

HomemadeCakes Fri 04-Nov-11 18:38:28

Goodness, so many.

early mornings in nan's bed with a cuppa while grandpop polished his shoes in the kitchen before he left for work in London.

3 course breakfast EVERY day! Loads of Bacon rind on the lawn for the birds.

nan hoovering and tidying before we went out, in case the queen came to tea! smile

waiting at the train station to pick grandpop up after work and playing boxes with paper and pen while we waited.

Watching Edward woodward in the equalizer while having toasted muffins and hot chocolate.

so many, miss them both so much.

midnightexpress Fri 04-Nov-11 18:48:11

Oh gosh loads, especially my maternal grandparents' house in Aberdeen. I can even remember their blimmin phone number, and my granny died in 1983! My grandad's striped lawn, and regimented rows of lovely raspberries and strawberries, and his roses, and the smell of his shed, where we kept our bucket and spade (we didn't live anywhere near the sea). My granny's walk in larder with home-made jam and packets of lemon puffs. And the tins of Tennants with girls in bikinis on them in the fridge. Rowies for breakfast, and my granny's steak and kidney pie for dinner.
I also remember being fascinated by the mirror on the bathroom, which had one of those extending X arms, iykwim. And by my granny's mangle, which she actually used (I am that old...).
And I remember playing fish shops with my grandad. We used to get up really early to visit the (real) fishmarket at the harbour, and then we'd make paper fish and colour them in, and then sell them to my grandad and my parents with our little cash register.
I also remember clearing out the house when my granny died. My wee cousin was about 5 at the time and when my great aunt (my granny's only surviving sister) arrived, he came running down the stairs shouting 'Granny's dead! Granny's dead!' very gleefully at the top of his voice. grin

dotnet Fri 04-Nov-11 19:08:04

I don't remember the inside of my only grandparent's house (my scottish grandmother's) very well. What I remember best is the air raid shelter in her back garden. The shelter was made of concrete, and earth had been piled up over it, from which grass grew, so that it looked like an unexpectedly small and unexpectedly steep hill in grandma's little garden - that was, until you spotted the entrance.
You had to go down a couple of steps. All there was inside, as far as I can remember, was a couple of benches facing each other.
My brother, sister and I liked playing in there. Once, in a spirit of unaccustomed bonhomie the three of us all teamed up together to keep 'the enemy' out. The enemy being our slightly younger scottish cousin, brought to our grandma's for the afternoon so she could play nicely with her English cousins. Her name was Heather, and I invented a particularly witty nickname for her, as I saw it - 'Heather the singing feather'.
We were not nice children.

flushingfreda Fri 04-Nov-11 19:19:01

button box

checking the pools on a satarday afternoon

pulling carrots in the garden and eating them straightaway

lovely sunday roast cooked on the aga

nastursiums growing in the garden

going to stay for a week in the summer holidays with my best friend

grandad eating tinned fruit with bread and butter

always drinking tea out of china cups and saucers

loud ticking clock on the mantlepiece

soda crystals beside the bath (never had bubble bath)

grandads hernia belt

hanging the washing out with dolly pegs

zipzap Fri 04-Nov-11 22:53:25

Both grandfathers were smokers so while they were alive there was always the horrible smell of stale smoke hanging in the air. Both of them smoked Players untipped - maternal grandfather (who survived into his late 80s) used to pull his empty packets apart and use them to show us how to draw things, especially how to draw a tree as it grows from a seed, even though he was almost blind. And even though his lines never quite matched up, you could see that they had been done by somebody who could draw, the spirit was perfect. Whereas even if I did exactly the same it just didn't quite have 'it'. Oh and the smell of those old empty packets is the smell of drawing to me.

Aforementioned grandfather had very dicky lungs on basis of all the smoking so he was on oxygen pretty much all the time. He used to sit there with his oxygen mask in one hand and his ciggie in the other alternating between the two shock. We were always convinced he was going to blow himself up before he died of natural causes - in the end throat cancer got him, the doc said he thought he had a couple of months left and he held on for over 2 years.

His special place was in the greenhouse - he loved growing tomatoes and had a chair at the end where he would sit there smoking and plugged into his oxygen (had a tank out there especially) and ruminate on life to us little grandchildren and if we were good - get to have tomatoes straight off the vine. the smell of the smoke and the warm tomato leaves is now very evocative of him. He would also join in with our games with dolls and teddies when we were little in a way that no other adults would, they would sit there on his chair and he's talk to them just like they were real. No way would he have done that with his own kids though - think he was probably pretty strict then.

his wife - know by all grandchildren and lots of assorted others as gra - got to her late 90s. She was fab, and had a great attitude to life. She learnt to play golf at 50 eventually stopping at about 86, when they gave her an honorary membership to the golf club so she could still go and watch others, hit a ball or two, walk around and play bridge. She also volunteered for meals on wheels and at the local old age peoples club. MoW she had to give up when she got to about 80 as she couldn't lift the meal trays any more, whereas she used to go and help out with the 'old dears' where she was usually to be found doing the washing up as it was nicer being with the younger helpers. She finally stopped doing that when when she moved down to be in a home nearer my mum as she couldn't cope on her own any more; when she was about 92 grin (and significantly older than most of the old dears in the club!)

My other grandad died when I was about 6 so I don't really remember lots about him. He and my gran lived on the premises of the family business where my dad also worked, we used to be dropped off on a sunday morning to visit her whilst my dad popped over to the office - and then whizzed up to the pub for a couple of hours while Mum cooked sunday lunch.

We also used to have to go over every other sunday for the afternoon, including afternoon tea - aunt, uncle and cousins were also there. It wasn't very interesting as my grandparents liked to watch wrestling (what was it with old ladies and wrestling?) and songs of praise. Tea always involved thin slices of bread and butter triangles, with one row of specials that were flora for my grandad. Always a tin of salmon (made vaguely edible by lots of salad cream), ham, plate of lettuce (with always the same comments about the special lettuce plate that looked like it was made out of china lettuce leaves), tomato quarters, slices of malt loaf and a huge ruddy great fruit dundee cake from Elizabeth the Chef in Banbury. Which was always because it was my favourite - at which point I'd have to point out - again - it was not, I hate fruit cake.

They also had a corgi which was never fed dog food - always meat and two veg hmm and there was always this doggy smell around, combined with everything else. I was never a child that liked animals, unlike my sister, which of course meant that it always made a beeline for me.

Oneandnomore Fri 04-Nov-11 23:12:50

The BEST Yorkshire puddings ever!

Walking round the block playing, step on a crack you break your back. Step on a line you marry a swine! Very unsuitable I know when only 6 or so smile

All the family sat around the table one Christmas lunch and Nanna suddenly remembering that she had forgotten to serve the carrots!

Lovely summer afternoons in their garden.

Good times. Miss them both so much.

Sleeping top and tail with my sister with blanket and not a quilt.

Thinking that going to BHS cafe for lunch was really posh, can still smell the butter on my roll.

Going to stay with them in London and going to Trafalgar Square.

My grandad peeling apples and letting me eat the peel.

Always blaming Grandad for the snoring then finding out years later it was my Nan but he always took the blame.

My Nan and her cappachino sachet drinks, she always let me eat the chocolatey froth.

I miss my Nan. She died 9 years ago from Alzheimers sad

BestIsWest Fri 04-Nov-11 23:15:08

So glad this is being moved to classics. I haven't managed to read past the third post yet without welling up and this is my fourth attempt. I am going to have to read it bit by bit.

marriedinwhite Fri 04-Nov-11 23:46:32

The fire in the kitchen
Wallpaper with concentric hexagons
A medicine drawer that contained things from the 1800's (my mum and I cleaned it out when they died - the contents were amazing)
The smell of hay mingling with warm fresh peaches from the tree
The clacking of hooves from the stable yard
The locks on the gun cupboard and the ever open back door
Checking the kitchen chair for an egg before sitting down
The pile of half crowns on the mantelpiece for me because uncle Albert left one every Sunday after church
The marks on the hearth from my mother's stilletoes which were tutted over years later because she preened in the mirror above it
Grannie's blue rinse and going to the hairdresser with her
Grandad's big white hankies
Looking through the binoculars (I have them now)
Looking through the green leather opera glasses
A book about a dromederie and warm milk in grannie's bed
Old chairs and sips of whisky
Watching the wrestling on Saturday afternoons
Watching the Golden Shot on Sundays
Grandad coming home after the races and sharing his reheated dinner
Looking at my dd who was given grannie's name and who has the same mild and determined manner, blue eyes and identical build and wondering how one wonderful woman whom I adored was replaced with a wonderful and so similar dd nine months before she died.

mamaduckbone Sat 05-Nov-11 00:21:26

My nan hammering steak with a meat tenderizer (is that the word?)
Mashed potatoes with 'cream of the milk' mixed in
Sitting on her lap and looking inside her gold locket
The Anglia televison man - a sort of Knight on a horse that came on in between programmes
Her amber coloured glass sweetie jar that always had buttermints in it that I wasn't allowed to eat before dinner.

oranges Sat 05-Nov-11 00:21:30

my granddad died today. this thread has unfrozen me. I remember - red lino on the floor, a huge 1950s fridge. orange pop. lying next to him while he had his afternoon nap, reading alice in wonderland and waking him up to ask him words i didn't know. my grandmother's utterly soft skin and smell of talc that always surrounds her.

Oh oranges.


My thoughts are with you.

oranges Sat 05-Nov-11 00:27:45

thank you. I want to talk to someone. I had thought about starting a thread but this one is just perfect. He so believed in me and I loved him so much.

Valpollicella Sat 05-Nov-11 00:44:38

I never had a grandparent until we moved back to Italy when I was 6.5yo.

When we moved there we lived about half an hour's walk from my grandparents house and I spent so much time there I can remember, even now, the smallest details like the smell of particular cupboards; the sounds different doors made; the routines, and jobs we all had to do (grandchildren) like mopping the floor after lunch.

I can remember the lining paper she had on shelves; the first sounds of the cockerels; the exact way you had to turn the tap on outside to get it working.

The smell of pomodori being processed for the harvest. Lying out in the corn that had been left to dry out and getting a smack (for my grandfather benefit) but a big kiss and some icecream when he wan't looking grin

I could walk back there tomorrow and it would all be different as she has passed on, and I wish, from the bottom of my heart, I hadn't been so unbelievably stupid as to not go back (for lots of reason, none of which are bloody valid).

I'm sure lots of my childhood would have changed anyway, even if I had gone back, but maybe they would have been gradual changes. You know., The tap night have been fixed. The paper in the bottom of the cupboards would have been different...

But I know that I can lie down in bed tonight, and I feel so lucky that I can walk my way through that house, the out buildings and the farm and recall all of it. Sight, smell, touch. It's all still there. And I am so grateful as it was the most beautiful, happiest time in my life.

And it was all down to my utterly beautiful, ridiculously strong (in many ways) Nonna.

I'm so sorry to hear about your granddad, Oranges, he was obviously a special person and very dear to you.

Your feelings must be raw at the moment; I hope you have the support of family around you. As this thread shows, grandparents form such a significant part of our lives - when they have gone, those memories stay with us for ever.

All my grandparents have been dead for may years now, but I still remember sight, sounds amd smells that are as vivid now as when they were alive.

My thoughts are with you too x

Valpollicella Sat 05-Nov-11 00:54:13

Oranges, my thoughts are with you. sad I wish you much strength in the coming days and in the future. I hope you can gain some comfort from your memories of him and your times with him x

suzikettles Sat 05-Nov-11 01:02:56

Too many memories of my grandma's house. The loch, the burn, the hills, red squirrels on the birdfeeder in the early morning.

Proper black dark - if you woke in the middle of the night you couldn't see your hand infront of your face (I'm a city girl so this was always a bit scary), but also millions of stars on a clear night. Peaty water in the bath, the smell of her soap.

Playing with her jewellry box on wet days, and a million adventures outside. It was a tiny, tiny house but outside was huge and we had the run of it from a very early age - single track road and miles from anywhere.

I still have dreams about my paternal gran's house. It was a big Victorian villa and I dream about secret corridors and rooms that I didn't know existed. Shelling peas, making perfume out of rose petals, climbing the big tree to see my dad's initials which he'd carved when he was 10, a set of old encyclopedias, the hornby trainset, the Rayburn and the two pulleys that my brother & I would dream of climbing on. The press and larder the scullery - names for things that we didn't have at home. My gran's cooking - she was an amazing cook.

It's the smells though. I can conjour up the smells from both places - amazingly evocative. I had such happy times in both places.

MardyBra Sat 05-Nov-11 01:04:53

sad oranges. Your post is lovely. It's hard even when they've had a "good innings".

FunkyChicken Sat 05-Nov-11 01:30:13

Playing with Grandad's bus drivers hat.
Nannie ALWAYS having toffees lurking in the bottom of her handbag.
Her pretending to phone the police if we were naughty when she was looking after us.
Him making her laugh and them still being in love after 60 years of marriage, getting through WW2, 8 kids, death of one child and never any money. Inspirational (and make me ashamed of things I whine about sometimes blush).

CumpyGrunt Sat 05-Nov-11 05:00:37

Val smile

So many wonderful memories.

I hope my grandkids will think of me with as much affection as I do my Grandparents

Vulgar Sat 05-Nov-11 10:26:13

I love this thread, it is so evocative. It is my favourite thread of all time.
I would love to see it made into a book with old photos.

Is it strange to enjoy the memories of others so much?

Here are mine;

Ancient fairy lights and paper Christmas decorations in beautiful pastel colours. none of that matchy matchy stuff you get nowadays.

Tinned fruit with evaporated milk.

Kitchen with faint smell of gas.

Slippery green satin eiderdowns.

Treasures from Woolworths before the war. Nana had a pink flowery chintz teaset that I coveted and now I have. I am sure she influenced my future taste.

Lollyheart Sat 05-Nov-11 10:42:52

Great thread.

My nan and grandad live on the isle of white.
I remember the excitement waiting to go on the ferry, then the smell of the sea when we arrived.
we always had cheese and piccalilli crusty rolls.
Waking up in the morning to the sound of the cockerel.
Watching countdown.
Feeding the horses that lived in the field at the back of their garden apples.
God there are so many we used to stay with them for a couple of weeks in the 6 weeks holiday.
A funny memory I have is that my brother sister and I used to lay in bed at night and try and plan how we could escape the island and go home to our parents coz we missed them grin.

Lindax Sat 05-Nov-11 12:59:45

paternal gran - playing in the close in her tenment where she raised 9 kids in a two bed (a lot of it alone as she was a widow). Friendly neighbours. Functioning outside loo. Loo inside with the high cistern and chain. Huge knickers hung out on the washing line in the communial gardens (no shame!). All the furniture/carpets were dark colours. Sash windows. Gran running about playing with us and having lots of fun.

material grandparents - very formal, better off grandparents (relatively speaking). Lots of cake, children should be seen and not heard. Alpine man delivering lots of bottles of ginger in vivid colours that made you hyper (and you still had to sit still!). Very fat cat. Sandwiches in condensed milk???????

FreakoidOrganisoid Sat 05-Nov-11 13:24:24

Paternal grandparents- skips and chocolate biscuits. Battenburg. Too many people squashed into a room. Grandad always sat in his chair. Not understnading a word he said due to broad zummerzet accent. Take a break magazine. The back room with its organ. Photos everywhere. Having to kiss everyone hello and goodbye (was not fond of this). Chickens in the garden. Nanny chasing a balloon across the field when it blew away.

Maternal grandparents - the smell of coffee and cooking, gala pie, bovril sandwiches, mincing left over meat to make shepherds/cottage pie. always being slightly cold due to windows and doors being open year round, the tea tray, the hokey for sweeping up crumbs after tea, the sausage dog, beds with sheets and blankets, cabbage patterned curtains in my parents' room, very bubbley baths. Gadgets everywhere, the old amstrad computer...

nurseryvoice Sat 05-Nov-11 13:53:43

Grandma and Nana wearing pinnys
Coal fires
Yellow fish
watching doctor who
great grandma used to watch wrestling
carbolic soap
Jumping on the beds
1970s swirly wallpaper and lots of orange walls and carpets
all gone now, died over 25 years ago, Nana had altzheimers

winemakesmeclever Sat 05-Nov-11 14:27:51

Max Factor Creme Puff face powder, and the "front room" which was only used for "best". I NEVER saw it used!! Hovis bread, cut really thin (by hand) and tinned mandarin segments with evaporated milk for tea. The black and white telly. Her addiction to Crossroads. The goat in the garden. The smell of coal fires (and all the other rooms perishingly cold). Sitting on her knee with her teaching me to knit. One in a million, my nana was....

80sMum Sat 05-Nov-11 15:34:10

In my grandparents' house I remember the outside loo, the scullery, the mangle, the Art Deco ornaments, the smell of mothballs, the cold, the cat, the dingey furnishings, the green chenille fringed tablecloth.
My great grandparents used to boil their kettle on a trivet over an open fire and used an old flatiron that you had to heat up in the fire. They had a front room that they called 'the parlour' and we children were not allowed to venture within its hallowed walls, as it was only used on special occasions; surprising because the house was quite small. When my great grandmother died, in the early '70s, her house was sold for £6,000. I found it on Rightmove for sale a couple of years ago ... for £580,000.

CheerfulYank Sat 05-Nov-11 15:53:55

Properly crying now.

{hugs} Oranges

PinkSchmoo Sat 05-Nov-11 18:46:38

My wonderful, wonderful Granda. The biggest man I've ever known even though he was only about 5ft 6.

Putting his slippers on the wrong feet to wear them out evenly, boiled eggs in the teapot, sleeping under a million sheets and then the arrival of the "continental quilt" , vegetable soup, pocketfuls of coal.

Dead 20 years but my ds sometimes reminds me of him so much.

PinkSchmoo Sat 05-Nov-11 18:51:04

I'm now bawling utterly. So sad to read your post oranges.

oranges Sat 05-Nov-11 19:07:57

I decided, after reading this thread, to book time off work, jump on a plane and go to his funeral. I have to see him once more, and then that's it. He becomes a memory as precious as all those on this thread. Thank you all. x

DrNortherner Sat 05-Nov-11 19:13:32

My wonderful Dad died when ds was just 7 sad It breaks my heart to think he will hardly remember him.......

Euphemia Sat 05-Nov-11 19:18:02

FIL died weeks before DD was born. sad

DrNortherner Sat 05-Nov-11 19:18:07

[hugs] Oranges. Going to the funeral is so the right thing xx

Madly Sat 05-Nov-11 19:22:22

Oranges, Definitely go if possible. You will never regret it.sad

From my dad's dad:
Tick tock of the grandfather clock - it's sitting silently on our landing now.
Freshly sliced bacon from the corner shop.
The manual lawnmower - no motor or anything, you just pushed it (hard!) over the grass.
The very uncomfortable green patterned chairs.

From my mum's dad:
The glass paperweights with coloured glass
The milky tea
The Irish music tapes
The catholic pictures/stuff everywhere
The smell of inner London council estate - everyone's dinner cooking at once!

I never had a granny sad I'm so glad that DS has two n mn

*two who adore him.

negativecreep Sun 07-Oct-12 15:40:45

I LOVE this thread, it needs to be bumped!

My Mums Side:

Nan getting me up at 8am every sunday to to to sunday morning mass.
Going downstairs and Nan having laid out the usual stork butter, toast and choices of shredded wheat, porridge, tea and coffee.
The smell of Grandad's roll ups.
My nan's house backed out to a river and I remember the smell vividly and her taking me for long walks down there then to the park then stopping off at the sweet shop and giving me a pound for sweets.

My Dad's Side:

My grandad always sitting in the same arm chair with his coaster and cup of tea with his two papers and reading glasses.
The weird musky smell in their house.
Nan putting me to bed and letting me wake up when I wanted as a "treat" then making me a huge fry up with piles of greasy fried bread.
My grandad's little pound coin holder that he'd take out every time we said goodbye and he'd pop a pound in my hand.
Sitting round there every saturday watching big break, the generation game, crystal maze and loving being there with them.
My grandad was always a bit of a wheeler dealer and have fond memories of him always buying lots of silly things to sell on for profit.

Fortuntely both sets are still alive but very old and not the characters they were. My lovely Grandad on my dad's side is in a nursing home and is no longer the grandad I knew and my religious nan has very advanced dementia and is no longer the same lady. Miss them all a lot.

Chocolate Xmas tree decorations
The Shopping Game, Avalanche and Mousie Mousie
Dolls house
baby dolls - Jane and Bethany
Cream cheese sandwiches
jelly and icecream
chicksticks and chips
Chanel No 5
Yardleys lavender oil in the bath tub
Soft nice smelling towels
Winnie the Pooh
Made up games

God I miss being a kid. I miss my Grandad so much. I'm lucky I still have my Nana. She's 86. She's the best nana ever, and my ds adores her too.

Campari Thu 25-Oct-12 02:31:32

My gran constantly telling the cat to bugger off.

The smell of homemade chicken soup

My Grandad falling asleep in his chair

Massive full English breakfasts every morning.

My Gran farting when we were in the other room but we still could hear her.

Great times grin

MsInterpret Thu 25-Oct-12 02:42:52

Great thread Chaos grin ...

The chiming of the grandfather clock that wasn't really a grandfather clock

French toast for breakfast cooked in the pan my grandad's bacon had been cooked in, so it tasted all bacon-y.

Bramble jelly on bread for supper.

The warm porch where we'd sit with the sun shining in.

The smell of their caravan we played in & always wanting to use the chemical toilet confused blush

Making fairy cakes.

Granny's knitting needles clicking.

The sliding doors to the sitting room.

Watching Lassie films!

The warm bit under the carpet where the pipe was.

Dancing up and down the 'kitchenette' to Scottish country dancing.

There are millions aren't there?! I wonder what dd's will be of her GP's house- she goes there at least 2x per week.

CuttedUpPear Thu 25-Oct-12 03:30:58

Home made crinkle cut chips

Nat King Cole on nan's radiogram

Ginger beer 'plants' lined up along the kitchen floor that I was terrified of exploding

When 2 of us slept over, nan gave us her double bed and went and slept in the single room. She would wake us up with a cup of tea in bed in a cup and saucer (can you imagine it, we were tiny!). It always had a rich tea biscuit with it, what a treat.

Playing with the 'treasure box' - it was full of her old jewellery. The only thing in the house to play with, but it was enough for us.

Gingerodgers Thu 25-Oct-12 03:42:27

All that button box talk is making me itchy! Anyone else scared of buttons? Or at least used to be, now I just dislike them intensely!

delphinedownunder Thu 25-Oct-12 03:59:14

lambs needing to be fed in the next door churchyard
hairy mint
grandad's flat cap
the smell of a coal fire
mint imperials in a big tin
pink candlewick
tomato plants
crisps sprinkled with malt vinegar
black and white minstrels show

eyes full of tears now. All my grandparents died in the 80s and my dad last year. Where do all these souls go?

fuckwittery Thu 25-Oct-12 04:29:25

lovely thread.
My mum's mum came to live with us in her granny annexe when I was about 5 so she was just next door.

The heaped mashed potato piles she'd do for me, in special shapes or swirly decorative bits on top.
polishing her silver
making amazing marzipan fruits, taking so much care to colour and decorate them
strawberry plants in the garden with tiny little english strawberries
brown flowery armchairs
click clack of knitting needles
her old tin of material, that occasionally I was allowed to get out and drape over the furniture to make an amazing play world. My favourite was the long narrow navy spotty piece, that was a river in my imaginary play. I need to let my 5 year old do this more with my bedding box.
no real memories of my granddad who died when I was 3 - just some whiskers and a big smiley face
spent lots of time in her annexe by myself after she died when I was 13, how quiet it was, all her things there and no granny.

My dad's parents (lived in america):
catholic iconography everywhere
dollar bills being pressed on me all the time (the smell)
flying as a small child, airport goodbyes, the teddy they bought me to replace a much loved one I left at the house (howls at the airport)
sleeping upstairs and creeping downstairs in the middle of the night jetlagged to find my mum
I didn't go there between the ages of 6-10 after my Dad died, my mum never went back after his death but I flew there by myself at 10, vividly remembering going into my grandparents' house and how I felt seeing lots of pictures of my dad and our family on the walls, as in our house we had no pictures up of my dad (my mum was v odd about it)

My great aunt's house also holds loads of memories as she lived 30 minutes away still in the house she and my gran (her sister) and their other sister had grown up in.
having proper teas, the best cutlery, thinly freshly sliced bread, spread and cut into dainty triangles
the amazing cheese egg marmite spread, made by softening hard cheese I think by melting, mixing in egg and marmite and resetting it in a little earthenwear pot
tick tock
sitting in front of her dressing table, playing with the heavy silver brush and mirror

The great thing is when my great aunt we bought her house, which has been in my family since my great grandparents bought it in 1919. They brought up three little girls here (my great aunts and my granny) and I really want to have another girl so I can bring up 3 girls here as well, 4 generations later.

Long post, sorry, thinking a lot about grandparents as my last one, paternal grandmother is dying.....

maternal grandmother:
Saturday or Sunday tea from the trolley in the sitting room, always had to have open sandwiches of egg and cress or tongue made with white bridge rolls, then 'something to butter' aka tea cakes, scones or crumpets, and 'something to cut' aka lemon drizzle or coffee and walnut cake.

Sunday lunch in the dining room where never a pan could darken the door - all the veg etc had to go in special china dishes that had been warmed beforehand.

The little bag of soap pieces that she hand-made that used up all the last little bits of bars of soap so they didn't get wasted - that was in the bathroom. Thrifty from 2 wars

the TV that had an embroidered cover which she had made

antimacassers on the armchairs and sofa

sleeping bags on the sofas for dsis and me when we stayed the night

watching granny getting dressed in the morning and marvelling at how complicated it was - what with stockings hooked up to a corset, plus vest and hoooooj knickers, seemed to take forever to get into! Then she wouldn't dream of going out of the house without gloves and a hat.

sitting on her knee and stroking the incredibly soft skin of her cheeks and chin - I must have spent hours like that

having grammar, pronunciation and punctuation corrected endlessly - oh the pain for Harrogate Granny having dgds with scouse accents grin

then paternal grandmother - actually my DF's step mum but always treated all of us (14 in total) as the same, whether DGC or DSGC, just a lovely woman

lying on my stomach on the bed in the tiny room I stayed in - called the rabbit room becuase it had a rabbit door-knocker - reading tintin books that had been my dad's

scaring ourselves peering over the bannister on the top floor and looking down 3 storeys to the groundfloor

scaring ourselves even more playing murder in the dark with older cousins in the basement

hiding out in the summer house at the bottom of the garden - huge long garden so nobody in the house could see us

playing frantic games of racing demon at the dining table - we could get 15 of us round the table standning up and you each needed a pack of cards for the game to work.....madness. My DGF made that table out of a door in about 1957. Saw it at DGM's house the other day when we were clearing it out for sale - would have loved to give it a home but no space here so it will probably go with the house clearance people sad

being amazed when, at my aunt's wedding breakfast which was back at the house, DGM produced box after box of M+S choc eclairs as pudding for 100's of people - this was the height of sophistication to me!

so much love and laughter

playing pelmanism on the carpet at maternal dgm's - that's what she called pairs, you know the card game where you spread a load of animal picture pairs out randomly, face down, then turn them over 1 at a time to try to find the pairs?

freddiefrog Mon 29-Oct-12 14:38:08

Mostly from my mum's side. Dad's side weren't very welcoming when we were kids

Jumping out of her understairs cupboard and scaring the daylights out of her
Making jam tarts
Making dens under her dining table with table cloths
Her Quality Street tin full of buttons
How my grandmother could make a Mars Bar last a whole week by cutting it into slices and letting us have 1 piece a day
My grandfather used to wait until my grandmother has dozed off before untying her apron strings and tying them back around her chair
Whenever I went to bed my grandfather would make a crumbling movement with his fingers and say 'oxo'.

My grandfather was such a tease and would torment the life out of us. I'm gutted he didn't get to meet my children

My grandmother is still going strong. She's 96 and when she visited us this summer gave us all a run for our money - playing football on the beach, etc.

VintageNancy Tue 30-Oct-12 21:33:17

Oh this thread is bringing back lovely memories

Grandma's button tin and emptying them all out to sort them

"the fairies" visiting and leaving sweets for us in grandad's coat pockets

Conker tree in the back garden - was very sad when it was cut down. Oh and loads of snails used to congregate in the garden too.

Discovering treasures in the bedrooms like old photographs

Dressing table mirror in my mum's old bedroom that you could angle so you'd see your reflection infinitely

Roast dinners - the best in the world

Visiting grandad at his allotment