My grandma had a colourful life. One of her 'claims to fame' was that she had been thrown out of one of the very first UK cinemas for snogging in the back row. She'd then turn to my grandad and say, "It wasn't with you dear..."
My grandma was a very accomplished lady; she could sing, sew, play the piano and was fluent in French. Her house was like something from a Jane Austen novel. Everything in it was 'Top Drawer' i.e. worth a small fortune. This suited her breeding, but didn't quite fit with some of the things she got up to.
She used to wear stockings and suspenders, which would regularly 'ping'.
"Oops, woe is me for I am undone!" (Isaiah 6:5) she would giggle, whipping up her skirt and doing herself back up. Isaiah would have been turning in his grave to be quoted in this context.
Every year at Christmas she would buy all the men in our family porn. While this grates on my feminist ideals, you can't help but admire the self confidence of a woman who would give her own husband and the husband of her only daughter a little bit on the side.
My grandma's accomplishments really came into their own when my mum and dad were first married. She was driving my dad somewhere (up the wall probably!) when he commented, "Did you notice that you just drove through a red light?"
Grandma: "No. Oh well."
Dad: "Well the police car behind you did."
Grandma looked in the mirror and lo, there was a police car chasing her, lights flashing.
Grandma:" Don't fret. I'll shake them off."
She then proceeded to speed through the streets of Ireland like Starsky and Hutch, the police car in hot pursuit. Unfortunately she eventually turned down a blind alley and had to stop the car. My dad by this time was hiding under the seat, cringing with embarrassment and wondering how he was going to persuade my mum to raise bail for not only her husband but her mother as well.
The policeman sauntered up to the car. My grandma wound down the window and smiled beatifically, but the policeman was having none of it. It was at this point that my grandma began speaking in French and pretending that she couldn't understand a word he was saying. The poor policeman, a young whippersnapper fresh from school, became so confused that he let her go with a caution, which he believed she didn't understand anyway.
So to recap, if you want to be like my wonderful grandma:
1. Behave inappropriately in cinemas
2. Buy porn
3. Drive like you're in a movie
4. Learn a language to avoid arrest for 1, 2 and 3
Today: There's no-one quite like grandma
Eventually my grandma was unable to look after herself and my mum made the difficult decision of putting her into a home. We visited regularly and tried to keep her cheerful.
Me: "This is nice grandma. You've got your own room, lovely windows..."
Grandma: "Don't be ridiculous, darling, it's full of old people and it smells of urine and cabbage."
There's no flies on grandma!