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Rambling and Reminiscing

"Just remembering some stuff"
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What is the point of a second hand hat? That, I fear, is a misnomer. Should it not be second head? After all, one wears a hat on the head, so that terminology seems bonkers, to me, at least. Shoes are another thing. They should be third and fourth foot. Gloves should be second and fourth hand. Or am I just being overly obtuse?

It boggles the mind, all those weird misnomers. It actually feels like the word “misnomer” is a misnomer in itself. The “mis” part I get, but the “nomer”? Well, I suppose looking at the etymology of it should help. Well, here’s the definition: Mid 15th century: “Mistaken identification of an accused or convicted person,” from Anglo-French, Old French mesnomer “to misname, wrongly name,” noun use of infinitive, from mes - “wrongly” + nomer “to name”, from Latin nominare “nominate”. So there you have it. That makes sense to me.

All this talk of nom has got me hungry. I would nom, but to be honest, I’m too tired. I have wine here, which is nice, but it is going to make me more hungry. Especially as it is a wine called Umber. I bought it one time because it was an interesting name. As you may have guessed from the name, it is Australian in origin. Umber is a natural brown or reddish-brown earth pigment, which gets it’s colour from iron oxide and manganese oxide. It is similar to ochre and sienna.

The wine itself is very mellow. It is something that I need today (4/10/2013) because I’m feeling very emotional and a little angry. I think the anger just comes from being emotional, or maybe from being tired. I meant to get more sleep last night, but I was uploading files and the process couldn’t be interrupted, so no sleep for me. Okay, I could have taken a nap, I should have taken a nap, but I was busy doing other stuff. Just stuff, nothing really important.

Anyway, the reason I’m emotional is because it is fifteen years to the day when my gran died. I went to the cemetery with my mum and we laid some flowers, cleaned up my gran’s grave and then talked to her for a bit. I’ve been feeling her presence and that of my grandpa too. My grandparents were amazing people.

Of course, anyone with grandparents is going to say that. My grandpa, I don’t really remember because I was still young when he died. I was about three years old, so I can’t be expected to remember him so very well. One thing I do remember is that he always smelled nice. He was a true gentleman and wore Old Spice. It was his signature fragrance. I also remember that I always got a nice warm feeling from him. He was so gentle and considerate and softly spoken.

He was a colourist for a carpet firm called Stoddards. The factory was based in Elderslie, the birth place of William Wallace. His art skills were quite spectacular. He made me a mask and it was a cat. I used to love it, but didn’t wear it very often because it was precious to me and I didn’t want to ruin it. My mum tells me that he never liked his drawings of roses. He said they looked like cabbages, which I’m sure other artists will sympathise with. He loved ships and had a scrapbook that he started when he was a child, and carried on throughout the war. He was stationed in Africa for most of the war and learned Swahili. Even though I didn’t know him personally for very long, I’ve always felt kindred with him. I think if he was alive today, we would have had some laughs together. He was interested in electronics, as am I, so we’d have got on like a house on fire. He used to make amplifiers and PA systems from old radios. I really hope I’ll meet him in heaven because I want to get to know him. He sounds like a really nice man. I still feel his presence today and it is a good thing to feel. Warm and comforting.

My gran was really quite the character. Every Saturday we’d go over to hers and she’d teach me a whole lot of things. She taught me a lot of words, and not just what they meant, but how to use them too. We would play Scrabble and she would be the one who won. Of course, we didn’t play for points, but if we did, she would have won. I always looked up to her and still do.

She was also quite the cook. My mum can cook a mean plate of soup (why it’s called a plate, I have no idea, when it’s served in a bowl, but whatever), but my gran was just out of this world. I think this is true of a lot of parents/grandparents. My favourite was her cream of mushroom soup. It was all made from scratch, not one single pre packed ingredient and it showed. She was brilliant at casseroles, which was great on a cold day. She always made more than was required, so there was always time for seconds.

Afterwards, we’d all help to wash the dishes and sometimes we'd go for a walk too, but not very often. Most of the time we were just too stuffed full of all that good food. I’d sometimes get a treat for helping with the dishes, if I’d been good. I always was, of course, but not for the treat, I just liked being good. My gran was really quite strict when she needed to be. A telling off from your mum is bad enough, but a telling off from your gran is just... Well, she knows the buttons to press to make you feel guilty.

Of course, on the flipside, she was also very kind. She always had something nice to say, a cup of tea and a biscuit ready, especially on a cold day. On a warm day, she’d make ice cream sundaes, which consisted of a glass of limeade with a scoop of ice cream in it. Basic, but yummy. When it was time to leave, she’d break out the pennies and share them out amongst myself and (I never mention this, for reasons I’ll never tell, but I have a sister) my sister. She’d also give us a fifty pence coin and that was our pocket money. Every time I got it, it was always shiny and I was in awe of it. A big smile came across my face (as is right now) and I hugged and kissed my gran thanks. I would go to the shop with it and buy myself a Beano and if I had any money left over, I’d buy myself some sort of sweetie.

Sweeties! Yes, that was another thing that she’d give us before we left. A pic ‘n’ mix from Woolworth’s. British people of a certain age will remember Woolies, especially the pic ‘n’ mixes. That was the highlight of a visit to Woolies. When it was time to get the clothes for a new school term, it was off to Woolies to get them and if you were good, you’d get a pic ‘n’ mix. Always, without fail, I got a snake. I loved snakes and would put on funny voices as I played with them before eating them. They were about 12 inches long, had a foamy marshmallowy bit at the bottom and a chewy gummy bit at the top. You have to eat them tail first and eat th head last. The head is the best part.

I was feeling quite down before writing this, but now that I’m at the end, I feel quite good. Nothing feels quite so good as fond memories.

Thanks for reading
Andrew =^.^=

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