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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

This question is now closed.

My gran was proper posh, and one day received a 'phone call, which opened with an angry man accusing her of having an affair, so loudly that Grandpa and I could hear him from the living room.
"Well he'd have quite a job" she replied, "Donald is something an act to follow, my dear."
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 10:36, Reply)
My grandmothers last words...
She got lung cancer and was on all sorts of painkillers. My Aunt was at her bedside at the hospital just spending the last moments she could with her as we knew it was the end. Gran was pretty much comatose from all the drugs she had been taking and was sleeping for long hours at a stretch. In a moment of lucidity my Gran had woken from her slumber, sat up and looked at my Aunt square in the eyes. My aunt said that with a look of painful dejection on her face my Gran said, "Oh, God! I'm still alive!!". She then flopped back on the bed and passed out for several more hours. Those were pretty much the last words my gran ever spoke because she died the next day.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 10:30, 1 reply)
My Grandad was brilliant...
He was quality at doing work around the house, like putting up a shelf so small it couldn't be used for anything usefull and covered it by nailing a not very well fitting piece of lino to the top of it. He also painted the whole of his and grandmas kitchen purple, everything was purple! Whenever we went round he'd cook us up some frankfurters from a can to have with our cup of tea, as I was quite young when he passed away I don't remember the exact topics but I do remember him being very shouty about the storys on the news.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 8:56, Reply)
Not really mine so it may not count.
I work as the handyman/gardener in a nursing home for people with dementia (mostly "low-care" - whatever that may entail). In the last 2 weeks we have had an Anglo-Indian lady in respite who I've had the pleasure to meet. I had to change her taps to paddles & put soft dome washers in to alleviate the problems she had turning the taps on/off due to her arthritis.
She described herself as "old school", she's told me all about her many servants that she had and how her life as the wife of a British Officer in the colonies was far greater than the service she was getting now in respite. I told her how I was born in Africa and had grown up with a family of Sikhs - which appeared to greatly improve her esteem of me.
Then she told me about how she rang the local council when her family first moved to Australia and she asked them where she could get a house-boy (servant). Supposedly she never got an answer but for all the effort it took me to keep a straight-face I would've paid to have been a fly on the wall @ that council office on that day.
Old people's racism lulz.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 7:31, 4 replies)
Another mention of the war...
The school where my Dad taught had an exchange programme with a German school. During their visit to our shores, the class teacher stayed with my parents. One day during the week my Grandad popped in and was introduced to said teacher. "Where are you from?" he asked, all polite, like. "Hamburg" came her reply. He paused for a second, computed this information and uttered the immortal line "Oh, I flew over there in the war" as if he'd been on lovely sight-seeing tour and not dropping massive bombs out of a Lancaster.
(, Thu 9 Jun 2011, 7:29, 1 reply)
My duaghter's Grandmother this very weekend, and not a drink had been taken.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 20:55, 4 replies)
All these stories about harmlessly racist grandparents
are making the Germans feel left out.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 19:32, Reply)
Ol' AB down there has reminded me of my own 'slightly racist Gran' incident
She had slipped over at home a few years back, located in one of the deepest, and darkest, backwaters of Rural North Norfolk, and on being admitted to hospital it was discovered she had broken her hip. Relatively quick procedure these days for a replacement, but dear ol' Nan hadn't been to the Doctors, let alone a Hospital for ANYTHING in the best part of 40 years or more.

After the replacement Op, I went up to see her and make sure she was ok. Everyone there had made a bit of a fuss of her and she was in good spirits, all things considered. Being a little deaf, every time she spoke it was loudly, and more or less audible to everyone in the ward.

When I asked how she was being treated, and about the people looking after her, a huge smile came across her face as she loudly exclaimed:

"I was really nervous, but the nurses are very polite and the Doctor looking after me is really nice, for a darkie".

A slight pause for breath on my part, and a few of seconds silence before I dare make eye contact with anyone else. A few smiles indicated that she really was audible to the entire ward.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 18:48, Reply)
When my uncle married an Indian lady
The first thing my Nan said was when meeting her for the first time.

'Oh i like your tan'.

(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 18:19, Reply)
Excellent grandparents.
Gran 1 - nanny to HRH Queenie and Co. Only when in Sandringham or Balmoral or something. She once said the queen was a bit of a brat who was generally trying to kill baby Margaret. When not working for them, toured the world as nanny for all sorts of aristos. It's funny when you know she was quite republican and did it for the cash.
Gran 2 - worked in a munitions factory checking weapon sights. Quite a good aim seems to run in our family.
Grandad 1 - WWII, was one of the head chappies for assigning the trains and rail systems for all use during the war. It's much more impressive to know it worked very efficiently, when you think about how incredibly hard it is for Southeastern to run a single train on time with just one section of track.
Grandad 2 - stationed in India, we found out last year he was responsible for commissioning a hospital there which is still standing and in use. We hear there might be a plaque with his name on.
Brother of Gran 1 - briefly held for questioning in connection with the motorcycle death of TE Lawrence. Wikipedia says swerving to avoid kids. Brother of Gran 1 say, pissed as a fart.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 17:38, Reply)
On the subject of Harmless Old Person Racism.
Picture the scene.
My slightly deaf grandma in hospital for the first time since giving birth to my dad's youngest sibling some 40 years ago gets a visit from my sister and myself.
Greetings are exchanged and she leans forward confidentially and says in stage whisper
Nervous glance around.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 16:22, 2 replies)
Am I the only one who enjoys old people's polite hateless racism/homophobia?
It made me giggle when my incredibly lovely friendly 90yr old grandma tried Indian food and said how nice "their people" are, and has to whisper how the new neighbours are a gay couple, presumably in case God hears her.

I dated a black girl a few years ago, and she seemed really proud of me, as if it made me special.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 15:21, 6 replies)
Cardiff Corporation Bus Depot
My maternal grandfather Noel worked there as a tyre fitter for most of his working life.

So, apparently, did:
Harold Sakata, who played 'Odd Job' in the Bond film Goldfinger;
Harry Belafonte, popular Calypso singer and sometime actor;
Paul Robeson, famed American singer, socialist and civil rights activist;
Mako, Japanese-American screen actor;
Marcello Mastroianni, Italian actor.

Of course, my gramps could just have been a bit ignorant and racist, and worked with a big Chinese bloke, a light-skinned Afro-Caribbean with a tenor voice, a dark-skinned Afro-Caribbean with a deep voice; a Japanese and an Italian, and just assumed they must be the same as the big Chinese bloke, light-skinned etc. that he later saw on the small black & white telly in his sitting room.

Or he could have been a Walter Mitty-style fantasist who imagined working with famous exotic people to distract himself from the dirty monotony of changing bus tyres and so clung to the idea he came to believe it.

Or maybe all these people really did spend some of their working lives in the Cardiff Corporation Bus garage with my grandfather. It would certainly explain his indignance when my dad took the piss out of him over it.

He was certainly so stubborn over it that repeated challenges just made him more adamant that it was true. But then he'd been one of the kids who got beaten in school if he was caught speaking his native language - Welsh - but hadn't let it get him down. I guess a degree of stubbornness would come in handy faced with that.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 13:09, 1 reply)
My gran
once forced my dad out of her clunge.

(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 12:44, 3 replies)
My nana (she will not be called Grandma, as apparently that makes her sounds old...she's 87) is awesome. Best thing about her? She is totally accepting of me being a shirtlifter. From me being 14, she's always asked loads of questions, welcomed my partners and last year, she attended my civil partnership and bloody loved it (though she did ask for chips and chips only at the restaurant later, love it). Best part of all this? I grew up in a tiny little backwards village where if you didn't have webbed fingers you were 'different' and well, tolerance isn't exactly skyhigh. She doesn't care though, and happily regales the W.I with tales of her grandson and his husband.

But to bring it round to the subject I've given this little post, she did turn to me about two years ago and ask me what fisting was. I have no idea where she heard the word given she only goes as far as the post office and the village hall, and the average age of resident in that village is roughly 95, but there you go.

I convinced her it was the name for that little 'fist-bump' greeting people sometimes give to one another. Which, I suppose, in a way...it is. I just hope it doesn't lead to her 'fisting' other members of the W.I.

I love my nana.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 12:26, 21 replies)
I just went back in time and killed my grandfather
Now I'm going to go into town and
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 12:25, 5 replies)
Peas roasting on an open flame
Forgive my repetition of a previous post, but I felt this story needed to be regurgitated after a year in captivity:

'There's 3 things you should do to get through a war'

This was, at least before it was rudely interrupted, my grandfather's finest and wisest set of words. This was during WW2, when he was tasked with driving ammunitions truck round the back of a combat zone whilst giving an interview for the army press about survival tips.

'Don't smoke. It's disgusting stuff and puts women off you. Also, don't drink and drive.'

'And the third thing?' asked the journalist.

'Always keep your map by your heart so you don't get lost.'

'That's pretty good advice for a soldier', he remarked.

'Indeed it is, and one day I shall stick to it, but I lost the map in the bar prior to coming on duty tonight.'

That evening, my grandfather drove half a mile through a minefield before fate caught up with him and launched the truck onto its back. The journalist survived, but my foolish relative spent the rest of his days lumbered with metal plates and pins. He took up smoking soon after.

Says a lot about my family.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 12:19, 1 reply)

Grandad was bloody awesome. Fought the Japs up in PNG, sugar cane farmer all his life and when he wasn't chopping cane by hand he was inventing home made beers and wines that sometimes involuntarily redecorated the back shed, when he'd got the balance wrong.

The best times were when he would take us fishing in a tiny little dinghy with a giant outboard in (what I now know was) crocodile infested waters. We'd chuck crab pots in and reap the rewards the next day. Humongous green mud crabs would evilly leer at us kids snapping away while we sat on the crab pots as the boat tore up the river. For an extra special treat once we were home, he'd have all the crabs tied up in a metal rubbish bin on the back verandah. For what must have been fabulous entertainment for the responsible adults in my life, he would "accidentally" untie them and knock over the bin so these dark green monsters would make a dash for us screaming nutters.

After buying Grandad's house a couple of months ago and last week excavating the garden, you wouldn't believe it - an old crab shell was found! An escapee from the big pot!

RIP Chris - thanks legend.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 11:34, 4 replies)
No Shame
My maternal Grandad is fantastic. A computer wiz, who introduced me to computers when I was a little kid (he had me hooked with Lemmings!). However, if there is something that I will always be the definition of my Grandad, it's that he has no fear!!

My Grandad has a deep love of Australia and would move tomorrow if he could. However, I am not so sure that Australia is prepared for him. I will never forget the photos being passed round when he and his wife came back from a 3 month stay in Sydney.

We were all say down, my Grandad proudly stood in the centre of the living room regaling us with stories. On the sofa was my dad, me my sister and my mum. Chris (Grandad's wife) passed some photo's to my dad, whose face seemed to be engaged in some kind of twitch-fest, nodding and saying absolutely nothing he handed the photo to me.

There was my Grandad, stood proud as any man - with a bright red head, browning arms, a milk-bottle white torso and very white speedos. To this day I will never get that image out of my head, and how none of us laughed until we were in the car is beyond me.

Length? None of us can look him in the eye when he talks about Australia now!
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 11:06, 1 reply)
Granddad the Handyman.
My Grandfather loved nothing more than spending hours in his shed making furniture and wooden toys. I'll never forget the day he proudly presented me with a solid wood carved aeroplane complete with detachable wings and tail. He'd painstakingly painted it with bright coloured livery and each window had a person in profile as if they were sat in their seats. The front window showed the Pilot and Co-pilot and the engines had little orange flames painted on them.

Unfortunately, as good as he was at making tables and stools, he couldn't carve an aeroplane shape to save his life and he certainly couldn't paint. It was fucking shit.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 11:02, 3 replies)
A joyous sight to behold was
on arriving with my father to my sister's house for the midsummer celebrations, as he walked through the gate, the flock of children ranging from 3-10 playing at the end of the garden looking up, and as one crying out excitedly "GRANDPA!" and rushing to him, covering him in a happy little cloud of hugs.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 10:39, 10 replies)
I told a story on my Grandma here, now here's one on Grandpa.

As mentioned, he was a respected scientist who isolated one of the first known viruses. At the time he was trying to find a cure for polio, and came within an inch of the Nobel for it. He was a rather intimidating man, standing well over six feet with a big booming voice and a commanding demeanor, and was not above using blasphemies when exasperated. Mom describes him as the original pig-headed kraut. For a fact I found him more than a little frightening at times. He grew up in the midwest and had a great love of the outdoors, and used to take my mom and uncle camping in the very mountains I grew up in. I heard more than once about how soft I was, how easy I had it compared to what real discomfort was.

They used to come visit us in the mountains of New York over Christmas. In that area of the world it's not at all uncommon for the temperature to drop below -20F. As the house is a second home and at that point had no central heating, it was generally bitterly cold in the house when we arrived and took hours to reach a temperature warm enough to remove coats.

One year it was especially frigid when we arrived. Mom and Dad immediately started the wood stoves, of course, but it was a long cold wait for the place to get up to temperature. My grandparents, being in their 70s at the time and living in Maryland, were especially feeling the chill.

It was at this time that Grandpa, the Great God Damn, the man who made people in his laboratory quake in their shoes, the veteran outdoorsman, turned to his wife and whimpered, "But why can't I be warm?"

Sorry, Grandpa. In that moment you became a mortal just like the rest of us.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 1:09, 1 reply)
One of my grandmother's sisters or cousins
believed that trees were magnetic, which explained why cars always crashed into them.
(, Wed 8 Jun 2011, 1:00, Reply)
What did you do in the war, grandad?
I have some hazy recollections of conversations with my mother’s father some 35 years or so ago in our only shared language, French. And when I say conversing in French, I had been learning it for barely 2 years at school, whilst he had forgotten most of what he’d picked up 30 years previously.

When I knew him, he and my grandmother lived in a flat above the grocery shop that they ran together to keep them busy in their retirement years. I think we visited them twice, three times at most, my mother using the excuse of the long ferry journey and drive being too much for her beyond that. They never came to visit us.

I do still have fond memories of the Christmas parcels we’d receive from them, filled with exotic sweets, biscuits and cakes unlike anything I saw in the shops. Silver-coated licorice, chocolate coated Lebkucken/gingerbread with a jammy centre, stollen.

So what kind of wartime memories did this old German share with his young grandson? He had been old enough to remember the First War, barely, and when the Second came around he avoided the fate of many of his less fortunate friends, relatives and their children – he even managed to avoid being drafted into the Volkssturm (German Dad’s Army) in the final year of the War – by joining a reserved occupation, eventually running a factory manufacturing vital military equipment - uniforms and boots. In the post-war period I gather he made a tidy sum providing clothing for the refugees in the nearby displaced persons camps.

As a young boy I do remember being proud of what he’d achieved, protecting his many Jewish workers from the Nazis, feeding and sheltering them all through those most difficult of times.

He died in the mid-80’s, my grandmother carried on for another 5 years or so after that. And by carried on I do mean carried on, lavishing every last pfennig of their savings on her 50 year-old boyfriend.

Around the time that Schindler’s List was released, using the publicity surrounding the film as a pretext because otherwise she would never speak of him, I broached the subject of granddad’s wartime exploits with my mother. She had a somewhat different recollection and understanding. According to her, the workers, some Jewish, many not, had by and large been slaves brought from France and kept under conditions that were barbaric even by wartime standards (although, admittedly, far better than most alternatives). It was from them that he’d learnt French; the workers being selected from those who could speak no German to ensure that, in the unlikely event of an escape, they wouldn’t get far.

So hardly an unsung Schindler, but if I’m generous then maybe a pragmatist without whom perhaps a further hundred or so Jews might have ended up in Auschwitz.

On the other side of the family, my father’s father also avoided active service, in his case by wearing a dress. He was an Anglican priest.
(, Tue 7 Jun 2011, 23:22, 4 replies)
My grandad was a python
Thought he should be at least. Claimed they got the high-street mountaineering sketch from him trying to get home from a pub in willenhall he reckoned they drank at.
(, Tue 7 Jun 2011, 22:59, 5 replies)
apparently (or so the family story goes)
James Callaghan, erstwhile PM of this fine country, used to be my grandfather's teaboy (presumably whilst working in the tax office).

Is it better to be able to say a PM used to be your teaboy, or to rise from teaboy to PM? Possibly the latter, depending on how history views your tenure, I suppose.

I shall save the moderately amusing story involving Battenberg cake and a packet of chocolate digestives for the replies.
(, Tue 7 Jun 2011, 22:45, 1 reply)
My grandad who died before I was born died in a car with the motor running.
I like to think he helped write that Beatles song, without ever meeting them.
(, Tue 7 Jun 2011, 22:44, 2 replies)
Brian Clough
My other grandad used to take me and my brother to Burton to watch Derbyshire play cricket once a year when we were nippers. One year we saw Brian Clough sat on the benches (planks propped up with beer crates on the Bass cricket ground)

Grandad used to know everybody in Burton, or so he thought, and assumed that everyone loved him.

"Can I sit here, Mr Clough" he said

No, F*ck off" quoth he!

So we did.

This is not an apocryphal tale - it happened

That is all.
(, Tue 7 Jun 2011, 22:07, Reply)
My Nan
once saw a lung on the pavement next to a postbox. She took it home to my Grandad, who was waiting for a transplant after years of heavy smoking. Even though he wasn't sure about all the sticky cum like substance it appeared to be covered in, he decided it was worth the risk, popped it in the freezer and next day got the surgeon to pop it in for him.

it worked a treat.
(, Tue 7 Jun 2011, 21:44, 2 replies)

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