It's getting colder here today; and I've been thinking about lighting the fire before I start. But maybe not. Let's just settle down for a yarn instead.
You know, back when I started blogging I was completely, delightedly taken by surprise when someone left me a comment about my storytelling. The way I saw it, there was only ever one storyteller in our family and that was my Grandpa.
Grandpa left school when he was, oh, about fourteen and he worked with his hands for most of his life. By the time I got to know him, though, he was seldom to be seen without a pen and a pale blue writing pad. We wrote to each other often (he sent silly poems when I was sick); and every night, without fail, he would set out to finish a crossword.
But there was one thing Grandpa was even better at than finishing puzzles. One thing he excelled at. One thing he lived for. And that was winning competitions. You can probably guess the kind he was good at - the ones with slogans to invent or phrases to finish. He did them all the time. Grandma quite often went into the cupboard and discovered that the labels had disappeared from all the tins because he needed tokens to enter. But there was usually a coffee table to be had for it in the end; so she served up tinned peas for breakfast and they learned to like it. That table sits in my Mum's now (1960's G-Plan - it's right back in fashion). Then there was the radiogram. And the honeymoon in Rome (which he donated to my aunt: she bought the wedding lingerie, he took the box and won a holiday).
But, best of all, the prize of a lifetime: Grandpa won a car. Imagine! Look, there's Grandma being presented with the keys:
Funny, she doesn't look like that in any other picture. She looks softer, usually. She must have been on her very best behaviour. It was just before I was born, so I'm a little hazy on some of the finer details. Maybe this one was clinched with Grandpa's all-time classic slogan:
"Christmas is coming, it's so plain to see, Here's your lawnmower back, may I borrow your tree?"
I've looked at the pictures and I'm guessing it had something to do with Findus Frozen Food. And fishsticks. Looking back it's hard to imagine the impact that car must have had on Grandma and Grandpa. They were born just as the very first cars were being made. They lived in a terraced street with, I think, one other car owning family. I guess it was life changing. They drove out to the countryside, down to the sea, over to the blackberry hedges, round to their friends and family. When I was a little girl they would call for me on a Sunday morning and I would ride to church in style. On the plastic seat covers. After all, they had to keep it looking good, didn't they? And it served them well, that car. Until Grandpa wasn't fit to drive it any longer. They got older over the years, and the Triumph stayed the same. Shiny and bright and smelling of "new". The competition car. Won by Grandpa.
That's my story for today. If you have one would like to share (and I hope you do), leave us a link! Write your story post, linking back here so your readers can find the other stories too, and add it to the list. All stories welcome: long ones, short ones, tall ones if you like. The more the merrier!