John’s beloved Nannie, my mum, recently passed away after a long illness. I thought it would be a fitting tribute to her to share with you a couple of stories about the two of them which still tickle my chuckle muscle to this day.
When John was younger mum and dad looked after him for three days a week after school. Being a very creative person mum always enjoyed ‘messy play’ as John called it. She would spend hours with him finger painting, glueing toilet roll holders and various cardboard boxes together, making trains, bridges and generally having lots of messy fun.
One memorable occasion when I arrived to pick John up, it was mayhem. The pair of them were covered in brightly coloured paint and they were both wearing an assortment of cereal boxes fashioned into hats, with paper pom-poms on florists wire stuck in the top. Mum and John were marching around the room singing “Nellie The Elephant” pom-poms bobbing and arms waving around to simulate Nellie’s trunk.”C’mon Jules,join in” shouted mum in an effort to be heard above the very elephant like trumpeting coming from John, whose trunk was swinging so wildly it swept all the Lladro figurines off the mantle piece.
“Come on get with it” she yelled at me “Put that Cornflake box on your head and swing your trunk”
That’s not something you ever expect your mother to say.
Dad peered over the top of his newspaper revealing a brightly painted red nose and a clowns mouth, “We are playing Circuses” he said and then unnecessarily confirmed what I had already guessed “I am a clown”
Mrs Malaprop or Mum as I prefer to call her, was very protective of her much loved grandson and was quick to show her disapproval of people who, in her opinion “should know better”. Which in his earlier years was often.
If they stared at John when he made odd noises, displayed strange behaviour or screamed his head off, she would point out their deficiency in the virtues of patience and understanding. However it would all go pear shaped when she then explained to them that John was perfectly entitled to behave this way because “he is artistic with special knees”.
God bless mum, thank you for being the most wonderfully bonkers Nannie in the world. Xxxxxxxx