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This is a question Grandparents

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)
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Having read through some of the stories about the rationing attitude towards food, it reminds me of my Nan. She was a proper Jersey bean – born & bred. I think that the farthest she ever got away from Jersey was France, and not very far inland at that The Channel Islands were occupied by the Germans in WWII, and if you thought rationing was difficult in the UK, it was doubly so over here. The majority of the island relied on Red Cross parcels sent across from the mainland – the majority of the local produce being either appropriated by the Krauts or nicked by any number of the Polish/Russian PoW’s brought to the island as labourers to work on the Atlantic wall. Nettle soup and acorn coffee were local delicacies – though I doubt that word could really be applied now.

This lack of food in her youth didn’t seem to affect her in later life however. My father was an only child. His father in turn had died when Dad was in his late teens or early 20’s, therefore when Nana was presented with two grandchildren, my brother and I, we became the centre of her life. To say that she spoilt us shitless is a HUGE understatement. We walked from school to her flat every day and upon arrival would be greeted with, at least, a 5-pack of mars bars, a couple of Dairy Milk caramel bars, a ¼ pound bag of sweets (the type you could only buy from a proper sweet shop), a whole assortment of penny chews, wham bars, flumps, curly-wurly’s, a bag of peanuts (salted for my brother, dry roasted for me) as well as that days copy of the Beano & Dandy and whatever Commando comic books we didn’t happen to have. To add to this, she must have spent the rest of her pension money on toys for my brother & myself – we had a full toy-box at her flat, it really was a home away from home. She let us rule the roost, and was in her absolute element when we were there. Suffice to say, neither of my parents could understand why my brother and I were so hyper after spending a couple of hours at hers before coming home. Strangely, neither of us have (yet) been diagnosed with diabetes!!

She died about 14 or 15 years ago now, when she was 75. Both my brother & I were in the room at the time. She was sitting on her recliner, my brother & I on the sofa scoffing sweets and reading our comics. She had a massive coronary, let out a single groan and died almost instantly. My brother & I called Dad who in turn called an ambulance, but there was no chance that anyone could’ve done anything.

It always left me a little upset that she had died in the room, but now that I’ve grown up (a bit) I can accept it as just a part of life. What’s more, I give thanks that she died so quickly and with the two people she cherished so much in the room with her. My only regret is that my Dad never got a chance to say goodbye properly.

Looking back on it, it’s easy to say that we were hugely spoilt as kids – we were, there’s no doubt about it – but looking at if further I love the fact that, just by being us, we brought so much joy to her in the twilight of her life.
(, Tue 7 Jun 2011, 17:35, Reply)

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