Saturday, 16 May 2009
When I first saw this photograph I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face. I thought they looked like the Adams Family; there was something almost gothic, about the picture.
It transpired that the couple getting married were my father’s parents. My granddad and grandma, she was a particularly vile and unpleasant woman who always stood arms folded like a woman from an Andy Capp cartoon, issuing forth a stream of unpleasant invariable mean spirited bile.
From my earliest memory she always looks very old, she had paper thin skin that had folded itself like filo pastry, this she powdered heavily, and wore with a slash of lipstick. She smelt of decay.
In stark contrast my granddad was the loveliest kindest man you could ever hope to meet, he was without an ounce of malice but was so utterly hen pecked, he rarely spoke.
I did not often visit so saw little of him as I grew up, but my most vivid memory of him was once walking with him to where he worked as a porter in one of Nottingham University’s halls of residence. We chatted and laughed, he was like a different person when she was not around.
They lived in a classic two up two down on a cobbled street full of chimneys and alleyways. I remember the terror of the outside loo but most of all I remember the door opened straight into their front room which was a frozen slice of perfection preserved in sub zero temperatures. Through a curtain you then walked into a thick fug of cigarette smoke that mingled with the searing hot blast of their coal fire.
They both smoked untipped Capstan full strength. My grandma died of lung cancer whilst my granddad lived into his late 80’s defying cancer, heart problems and a stroke. Good karma will always out. That my father clawed his way out of this negative mire to get a PhD from Cambridge is astonishing,
The large man in the photograph was my grandma’s father a brutal man and to his left those two ditzy women were sisters who lived with him! Guess what they were called? Daisy and Kitty, seriously, I had no idea. I have a feeling many an eyebrow was raised at that arrangement.
I have the photograph tucked away, but when I saw this I realised that beauty can be spun from the eye wateringly ugly!
All this and more can be seen at the Riflemaker
Posted by indigo16 at 12:31