Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I asked, she answered, I asked some more

Today I sat with my Nannan in the little restaurant in her retirement village.
It was decorated a bit like a Parisian bistro (at least what I imagine a Parisian bistro would look like), 
but for old people.
Work with me here people, I trying to paint a picture.
We sat at a cosy table nestled in the corner, looking out onto someone's bright little flower patch, our heads close to together deep in conversation.
Well, when I say deep in conversation, what I mean is, I asked questions and she answered. 

As a war baby (her, not me...obviously) I already knew that her life story, her memories and experiences were different to mine, but I find it absolutely fascinating.

There are stories from her being a baby and having her head bumped on the air raid shelter during the bombing in Sheffield and people being worried that she was crying so loudly that the German would be able to hear her and know exactly where to bomb. 
Stories from when I was baby generally include projectile vomiting and me not going down at night.

There are stories from her being a child and driving to Scarborough at the weekend with probably about 8 people all in one car, with some sitting on stools that they'd put in the back seat and none of them wearing seat belts. 
Stories from when I was a child generally include me bossing my two younger brothers around and making up dances that I force them to learn and perform.

There are stories of faith during her adult life, when she prays to get a new job and to see her Dad again, and both happen in one miraculous incident and when she sells her house so that she can afford to serve a mission.
Stories from me being an adult generally involve amusing interactions with funny Chinese ladies.

I hope that one day my children and grand children and great grand children find me so interesting.

PS. I also learnt from my Nannan today that one of my relatives was taken to Auschwitz during the war. 
They thankfully survived it, but I think next time I watch The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas I will cry even more than usual.

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