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My awesome grandad flew in Wellingtons in the war. Damn, those shortages were terrible. Tell us about brilliant-stroke-rubbish grandparents.

Suggested by Buffet the Appetite Slayer

(, Thu 2 Jun 2011, 21:51)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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My Grandad smells alot.

We probably should bury him one day.

(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 17:00, 5 replies)
My grandad.
My grandad was interviewed by the BBC due to having the same birthday as the queen : news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/4926794.stm

He was in a nursing home by this stage and his health was deteriorating greatly. He'd led a pretty amazing life and it was fantastic for him to have his chance to recount it to people other than his family and friends. Unfortunately he passed away shortly after.

He was a great man and I don't think his children or his grand children, or even his great grand children would be in the positions they are in life without his help. I know I get my love for technology, sci-fi, and horror from him.

I have too many stories to post about what made him great to me. But the one that always stands out when I think of him is of a summer holiday when I stayed at my grandparents house in Liverpool for a week. A video shop had just opened over the road and my grandad was itching to test out his new VHS recorder on something other than recording episodes of Coronation Street for my gran. So off we trotted over the road and rented out some of the worst horror, sci-fi, and action that the 80's and early 90's had the pleasure to crap out on video. Troll, Arena and Best of the Best were some particular highlights. We had to wait until my gran had gone to bed as she didn't approve. :)

Incidently, my gran (the Dorothy of his story) is still going strong. She's in a home as well these days due to health problems associated with her age. I get to see her once a month when I head up north, and I've got as much to thank her for from when I was growing up as I have my grandad. They just had very different ideas on what the responsibilities of a grandparent were!
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 16:41, Reply)
My Grandad
lives in my pocket.

And when my Nan sneezes, she shrinks really small, about the size of a pepperpot.

Wait...I may be getting confused here.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 16:21, Reply)
My Granddad
Served in WW1 and managed to avoid getting killed. His younger brother was not so lucky and was killed in one of the big battles.

When he arrived home after the war, he married his brother's widow and the fruit of their union was my dad.

Granddad became obsessively jealous of his late brother and went through the family photos cutting out all images of his late sibling. He also told Dad's half sister and brother that HE was their father and not to mention their real father.

In spite of all this, granddad was generally a kind old fella, and as I toddler he used to take me & my brother on outings in his ancient Austin 7.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 16:18, 1 reply)
My grandad was shot. On a bridge. etc.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 16:13, Reply)
My grandad shot Hitler
On a bridge in Argentina, in the 1970s.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 16:04, 3 replies)
My mum's dad
Was a foreman at Belfast docks. He was well respected, bit of a hard man. Management from the docks and the shipping lines would visit him at home and ask him to arrange the loading and unloading of ships and hiring and firing of stevadores. Consequently, he was not best pleased the day he went into work, without noticing that my mum and her sister had plaited the hair in his combover.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 16:04, Reply)
Oh , just thought of another one...
When i was about 4 or 5 my Nan babysat for me and told me that while i sleep the devil stands at the bottom of my bed and if i'm bad he'll take me away. It took about 3 months of sleepless nights before my parents got to the bottom of that one.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 15:57, Reply)
Brain on, mouth engaged please
In our family we have a saying about my Nan- “Her heart is in the right place but her brain isn’t”. Brain and mouth often aren’t connected at all with this old lady. And its not a case of a bit of old age dementia and the general nuttiness you can get with the older generation. She has ALWAYS been like this (according to my Mother and Uncle)
If anyone read my answer to last weeks QOTW, its should be apparent that she shouldn’t be allowed to cook. She also shouldn’t be allowed to speak to anyone.
Over the years her brain has concocted several bizarre fantasies about members of our family.

Most memorable were the time she came to our house one breakfast time and threw a newspaper at my Dad screaming “Stop abusing my Grandchildren”. Turns out the Sun or whatever she had been reading had run a story on child abuse and she’d decided my Dad was clearly one of these evil child abusing men. My Mum was livid and made my brother and I (aged about 12 and 6) explain that we weren’t being abused. At 6 I doubt I knew what abuse was…What is more than a bit gutting though is that she continues to tell people how my Dad used to beat me and my brother when we were little- nothing could be further from the truth.

As we grew up things didn’t get any better. She had a massive amount of paranoia that my brother was gay. He’s about the most heterosexual man you’ll ever meet but because he had male friends (wtf?) he was clearly gay in her eyes. Oh and his gayness was a disease that he could be cured of by spouting excerpts from the bible at him. She used to ring my Mum up in the middle of the night crying and telling her to stop by brother from being gay. She just didn’t understand the whole concept of sexuality.

Not even her own husband was safe from her crazy mind. Around the time the Yorkshire ripper was at large she rang my mum in hysterics claiming that Grandad was the ripper and she was going to ring the police and shop him. And how did she know he was the ripper…he’d come into the house carrying a hammer.
My Mum threatened to have her sectioned after that outburst. The police would have taken that so seriously and it would have destroyed my poor little Grandad!

She’s labelled my cousin as a prostitute, My uncle as a serial womaniser, his ex and current wife as horrendous gold diggers and my Mum is just clearly in league with the devil. That said, she does love us all dearly.
Apologies for length but I could spend a day telling you all about my Nan!
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 15:49, Reply)
Grandparents say the darnedest things...
...you just don't realise how funny some of them are until you're older. For example, my late grandfather always wore a small gold crucifix on a chain round his neck. My sister and I, being but young and more or less oblivious to the connotations of this, asked him why he always wore that little cross. His answer?

"Oh, it keeps grandma happy."
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 14:56, 1 reply)
Brian Blessed is my grampa.
and Joanna Lumley is my gran.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 14:55, 1 reply)
I like the fact that this QOTW has given me plenty of reason to think of my Grandad...
...he used to tell these long winded stories that don't really go anywhere and probably weren't true.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 14:42, 3 replies)
Hitler, the Suez Canal and the Duck
It is well-known that parents and grandparents tell their progeny bizarre lies for reasons best known to themselves. We even had a question on it not so long ago. A good friend of mine recently moved into a flatshare with a chap whose grandfather clearly had quite an active imagination.

This poor chap apparently believed for quite a number of years that his beloved grandpappy:
- Was the man that shot Adolf Hitler. On a bridge in Argentina. In the late '70s.
- During the Second World War, had rescued none other Marylin Monroe and Fred Astaire after they were inadvertently caught up in the middle of a skirmish on the Suez Canal.
- Had once ripped a duck in half with his bare hands, lengthwise.

He'll be telling us Grandad drove a Honda Accord next...
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 14:38, 2 replies)
Hitler's whisky
My Grandfather didn't talk much about WWII as it seemed to upset him quite a bit but he seemed to tell me stories my Mother and Aunt had never heard, meeting Churchill, seeing an Irish friend blow himself up playing with a landmine, but one cool story was being sent into Berlin (I know this sounds a bit 'Band of Brothers') and getting hold of a box, marked with swastikas, full of whisky my Grandfather claimed had been "appropriated" by the Nazi's from whom I don't know, the troops following from behind found him and his mates having a party and tearing down flags!

We never found out why he was given that opportunity but he claimed it was true, and also the very last time he drank whisky in his life. I have his binoculars by my bed, I loved him, he was so kind and gentle yet we always knew that the war scarred him because of whatever he'd had to do that we never got told about, I guess it was pretty nasty as he would always well-up when it was mentioned, as an innocent nipper I once asked him if he'd shot anyone and his face just went white. He also never ate dates because of an incident in the desert called 'Dehli Belly'!

Miss you Kenneth.

/edit - Just checked with my Ma to make sure I didn't make too many mistakes and this was the reply
"He was in the Desert Rats. He was also evacuated from Dunkirk, went to Africa, up through Italy, back home and then into France on D-Day + 2 (I think), Caen, through Belgium, across the Rhine and ended up in Berlin. As Churchill told him 'a bloody long way to walk'."
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 14:35, Reply)
Grandparent's rights
I have two kids (3&5) and one of their biggest pleasures is weekend sleepover at Nanny and Granddad's.

This usually involves visits to the park, treats, staying up late-ish and playing the Wii for hours on end (grand parents are so much cooler these days).

Anyhow, once, on returning home from said sleepover, the usual interrogation from the wife commenced as follows:

Wife: "Have you had a nice time?"
Kids: "Yeah"
Wife: "Did you go anywhere nice?"
Kids: "Yeah"
Wife: "What did you have for dinner?"
Kids: "chocolate buttons, candy floss and percy pigs"
Wife: "....erm, what did you have for breakfast?"
Kids: "cookies and milk"

The missus obviously gets straight on the phone to her folks to confirm this is of course a lie.

Unfortunately it wasn't a lie, that was actually what they'd given our kids for dinner and breakfast.

According to them, it's their right to be able to do all the things mum and dad won't allow at home - it's one of the few privileges afforded to the old.

Can't argue with that really. I reckon I'll be the same with my kid's kids.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 14:31, 4 replies)
My gran was
a vegetarian atheist, who enjoyed cycling.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 14:05, 2 replies)
Leg End
My grandad was a bit of a git in his time but he absolutely dispised bullies.
I visited him once at the old folks home and watched in mild horror as he groped a nurses ample breasts.
Anyway, there was another nurse who worked there who was a complete cunt, I shall call her Ivy, for that is what she was named. Ivy didnt like grandad and didnt like the care work. My grandad told me the story of how he got rid of her.
She used to have to help him up out of the chair when he needed to use the facilities, and on the the day of her demise, she had plain refused to fetch his stick and lift him up, after repeated requests for assistance over a 30 minute period. so he did what any self respecting old person would do in this situation, he shit his pants, only that wasn't the end of it, once the wicked witch had seen what had happened she tried to grab my grandad out of the chair by yanking his hand, grandad had forseen this move and had scooped a handful of runny chocolate fudge from his under garments and squished it into her hand. Apparently he also managed to get some on her face, in her hair, and also pushed some in her ear before she managed to get him upright.

Dirty bastard...but sorely missed and a legend none-the-less!
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 13:56, 12 replies)
See if I've beat little sister to this...
Both our Grandads died within 6 weeks of each other last year. As with any death/funeral, it is amazing how much of the deceaseds life turns out to be any mix of awesome, frightening and fascinating.

First to go was Grandad on Dads side. Used to visit maybe an afternoon every year (lived 200 miles north, bit of a trek). When I was little we usually went to see his allotment, until he got too old for it. Used to keep chickens too. Me being a Derbyshire lad and him an Ashington coal miner meant we could barely understand each other, so often Dad had to translate. Just another old coal miner it seemed...

He started down one of the pits round Ashington aged 14. I forget which one. At 18 he joined the Northumberland Hussars, he was one of the last mounted cavalrymen. When horses were withdrawn from combat he retrained in the artillery. During WW2 he served in India on the northwwest frontier, and learned to ride camels in the maldives. He narrowly avoided being sent to Burma, just as his unit was moving someone realised that, because he'd volunteered before the war, he should have gone home months ago! Anyone who knows of what happened in Burma will appreciate what a lucky escape he had.
After the war, he was involved in cleaning up the concentration camps. This only came out when little sister went to Auschwitz as part of an A level history trip (the name of the one grandad helped clean up escapes me, began with a B I think). He told us how the Jewish woman were asked what things they needed. As well as food and medicine, they asked for lipstick. After years of being sub-human, being able to start looking nice for the allied soldiers was a huge help in getting back to a normal life.

Another tale comes second hand from Dad. When he (Dad) was little, the family went out for one of these newfangled Indian meals (this would have been sixties I think). So there they were, happily demolishing a curry, whilst an Indian family sat next to them were talking in their own tongue. Grandad was looking at them a bit odd, and kept doing so. Eventually he butted into their conversation, in the same language. Turned out they were discussing a battle that he had fought at. When he had explained all that they invited Grandad to join them, and were very pleased to meet someone who had fought for them, and remembered the language.

And finally...Grandad always loved horses. A few months before he died, his retirement home took him to a disabled riding school to have one last ride. There's an article here: www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2010/02/26/cavalryman-george-spowart-92-rides-for-last-time-61634-25917972/

If anyone involved is reading-thankyou. I just wish I'd got to know him better.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 13:44, 12 replies)

Just before he kicked the bucket my Grandad uttered these immortal words to me:

'Hey boy, watch me kick this bucket'.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 13:14, 1 reply)
My great grandfather was an army chaplain during the First World War.
He survived the whole thing, the carnage, the waste, the horror, and then was reported MIA in the last week - the last week - after going into No Man's Land to administer last rites.

His then-girlfriend received a telegram two weeks later, saying.

(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 12:44, 40 replies)
Grandpa Scrooge
My Grandfather was always regarded as being incredibly tight-fisted; he would not put his hand in his pocket for anyone. The grandchildren never noticed or cared, but it was a point of contention amongst the parents. If just once he had bought a few of us a handful of penny sweets on any visit, the parents would have been happy, but he would not have stretched to even a few coppers.

One weekend, when I was a mere nine years old, I went to visit him with my Mum and Sister. As usual, my Mum handed him a Tupperware box of some food she had prepared, myself and my sister dug out whatever toys we had managed to sneak out of the house to play with and so on.

My grandfather called me over, and within earshot of my Mum, said:
"Here Steve, I have a present for you!"

He handed me over a small, blue-coloured paperback book of magic tricks (which I still have to this day). This naturally made my Mum quite happy, but as she turned away from that heart-warming scene, good old Granddad stopped me and quietly, but very seriously said
"now that will be 50p, please!"

He held out his hand. Of course I stumped up the coins out of what little pocket money I had, and not another word on the subject was uttered. I didn't mention it to my Mum until just after his death in late nineties. She just laughed and laughed, and it still comes up in conversation when anyone in the family is reminiscing.

If I get to his age and am lucky enough to have grandchildren of my own, I honestly hope I can be as stingy and as awesome as he was!
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 12:44, Reply)
My grandma, in the last ten or so years of her life,
suffered from Parkinson's which gradually progressed into Parkinson's Dementia.

For the most part it was actually pretty horrible; I can remember the first time we visited her in her dementia unit, surrounded by all the things that used to sit in the house she raised my mum and her four siblings in, which her and my grandad had to sell after she couldn't handle the stairs any more.

She was sat in bed complaining loudly and furiously that Ken (my grandad) hadn't been to visit her in weeks, when actually he had just visited that morning, like he did every day.

I was sixteen and none of my grandparents had died yet and for the first time I started to sense what it felt like to lose someone you loved.

But the brilliant part came at the end of this otherwise horribly depressing visit- we were all doing our goodbyes and after my brother, who was about ten at the time, pulled away from his hug, she grabbed his shoulder and earnestly reminded him how lucky he was, because he had "that special thing where you're a boy AND a girl!"

So far as I know that isn't actually true; the look of ten- year- old confusion on his face was priceless.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 12:35, Reply)
Back in the glorious Fifties, my Grandparents drove in rallies, including the Monte Carlo
And of the two of them, my Grandmother was the better driver, and double-declutched all her life, even in the little 1.1 Fiesta she had in her seventies.

But this tale harks back to a time before a proliferation of kids (and affairs) bogged down my grandparents' relationship, and one glorious spring day the two of them are racing their way through the sinuous Alpine curves, my Grandfather droning out a steady stream of Lefts, Rights, Dips and Warnings, and my Grandmother blipping the throttle and snicking the gear lever back and forth. They made a formidable team, and were making excellent time.

The tale goes that, as my grandmother came flying around a mountain bend, they were confronted by a Bentley across the road. And by across the road I mean bumper up against the cliff face, boot hanging precariously over the edge of the mountain, and barely a smidgen of space to manoeuvre the car back onto the straight.

"I say old bean," says an appropriately plummy character as my grandparents pull up, "don't suppose you could help us out a bit, could you?"

With a gentlemanly smile, my grandfather rolled up his sleeves, leant in, undid the handbrake and with one shoulder shove, sent the Bentley tipping over the cliff edge. Before the gobsmacked driver could give vent to his complaint, he was told "There's a race on, and you're holding me up."
He was bedgrudgingly given a lift to the bottom of the mountain ("despite the weight he added", I'm told). Upon stepping out, he thanked my grandparents curtly and added as a parting comment:

"If you ever come to Austria I will have you shot. Good day."
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 12:23, 3 replies)
MY Grandad
.....was a mushroom farmer from Northern Italy who died down a mine in Belgium

beat THAT ya fuckers
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 12:09, 2 replies)
Hospital gowns
are not sufficient cover for old people who are no longer aware enough of what they are doing.

I really wish I hadn't seen both my Nan and Grandad's genitalia the last time I visited them both in hospital. As they say 'What has been seen, cannot be unseen'

(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 11:52, 5 replies)
All four of my grandparents died of lung cancer before I was born.
I'd like to thank them for sending me the clearest possible message that with my genetic heritage smoking is probably *a really bad idea*.
(, Fri 3 Jun 2011, 11:52, 3 replies)

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