Monday, October 26, 2009
In Loving Memory
In loving memory of my Nanny Annie - 19 November 1940 to 22 October 2009
I wrote this some time ago for my Nan and am not going to edit it to the present because I didn’t write it now, I wrote it then. She passed away last week Thursday after a two year battle against the dreaded Cancer. She gave it her all. So in honour of you my beautiful Nan here is my special tribute to you. I will remember this piece because I called you and interviewed you for it. I love you forever! Rest now.
I happen to believe that grandparents are amongst the most special people we have in our lives. They are so full of amazing stories, great history and far reaching wisdom. They most definitely should not be shelved and allowed to grow dusty because they might ramble bit. NO! I say pull up a comfy chair and listen and cherish, even if it’s for the hundredth time, because you just don’t know if that will be the last.
I am lucky enough to have had two grandmothers in my life. . One already passed and dearly missed, the other still here and her- beautiful-self.
To you my Nan, I dedicated this post.
She is an amazing woman whom I have the privilege of being related to by actual blood. I know she’s beautiful, isn’t she?
When I picture her in my head, it’s always a sunny day. She is sitting on her stoop with a glass of red wine next to her, wearing her white dress which is pulled up to the top of her thighs, sunning her, still, amazing legs and just utterly radiating her glow. Nan, you’ve always had the most amazing energy. Ky and I often say that his cottage is the best because it still has a bit of your energy left in it. When you walk into that little house you just automatically relax. It’s quite something.
Anne Christine Goodwin Carter Kay. Born in the West Midlands on November 19, 1940 to Douglas Jeremy Goodwin & Dorothy May Goodwin. Can you believe this woman is 69? Hells bells, she is one belta of a granny that’s for sure. The best part being that her genes are an integral part of my genetic make up! HaHa. I know you’re so flippen jealous right now. Naa NaNa Naa Naa!
My Nan was the first of 4 children and was mainly brought up by her grandparents, Nanny & Granddad Tom. She married Kenneth John Carter when she was 19. They went on to have 4 amazing children, my mother being the third. My Granddad Ken was offered a job as the MD of Salter Scales here in Parkmore. So my Nanny Annie & Granddad Ken packed up their brood and moved over to South Africa. Sadly Granddad Ken died when my mom was fifteen leaving my Nan with four children to raise and put through school. I know from the many stories that the loss of my granddad, not only a provider and husband but also the love of her life, was a huge up hill struggle for my Nan. I am glad to report that my Nan did a sterling job. She is a true survivor and inspiration to me. I am eternally grateful to her because without her I would not have the amazing mother I do and intern I would not exist. So to you my beautiful Nan, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I remember when I was a little girl my Nan had a flat in Bechlue. I used to spend countless weekends there. She had this huge cream wall unit with gold lines on it, and in the bottom cupboard was a huge box of toys, most memorable for me was this green puppet with an extremely long nose & the tea set that I would spend happy hours playing with. I had this amazing little apron; it was brown and white and had a huge owl on the front. I would put it on and make tea, which consisted of cold water, milk and sugar, for my mom. She would say, “No thanks my Nu, I don’t feel like tea right now.” And my Nan would say in a very stern voice, “Now Sarah, the child has made you tea. Drink it!” That is so funny. Sorry mom and thank you Nan. That just wouldn’t be funny if my mom was allowed to refuse.
I had my own gown and mini toothbrush – special for my tiny teeth- at my Nan’s flat. My Nan would always run me huge bubble bath. After my bath she would dry me with a huge fluffy towel, lay me out on her bed and cover me from head to tow with powder, applied with a soft powder poof. Oh, I loved every minute of it.
Now I have to tell you that if I spent the weekend with my Nan we would go to the Jo’burg Zoo early on the Sunday morning. It was a sort of standing ritual for me. Some Saturday evenings, after my bubble bath and powdering, she would sit me down and say, “Now Jessie we aren’t going to the Zoo in the morning because Nan works very hard all week and wants a bit of a lie in. Do you understand my love?” and I would say, “Yes Nanny.”
The next morning at 5 o’clock sharp I would go stand next to my Nan’s bed. She says she would wake and see staring back at her these huge blue eyes. I would say, “Nanny is it time to go to the Zoo yet?” My poor Nan, all she wanted was to have a bit of lie in. But she would get up and cook me eggs and sausages, pack all the bread and veggies in her fridge into a bag and off we would go to the Zoo to feed the animals. A turkey gobbled my finger on one occasion and I have been petrified of them ever since. Serves me right for not letting my Nan have a lie in, non the less, I would like to say thank you again to my beautiful Nan for getting up and lugging me to the Zoo for all those years, for powder poofing me and making me eggs and sausages. I love you and feel bad for the rest of the grandchildren because I had the most of you.
My Nan gave me this lovely silver chain with a big blue eye pendant hanging off of it. She used to tell me, “Now you behave yourself or else your Nan will know. I can always see you.” I flippen lost it and have been searching all over for one. The other day I went into the Dreamcatcher Shop in Fourways and there they were. Sho, I almost spontaneously combusted there and then! They’re rather pricey but at least I know where to get one when I have the moola.
We used to sing songs to. I think I have my Nan to thank, yet again, for my theme song addiction. I don’t know if any of you will remember this but on the way to Sandton City on the road somewhere was a huge statue of a black horse rearing up. We had a special song for when we drove past him. It went like this:
Horseeeeey cock your tail up
Cock your tail up
Cock your tail up
Cock your tail up in the air
Awesome? Hells yeah!
Here’s another she taught my brother and I on the way to the Kruger Park. I sing this song regularly and have tried on numerous occasions to teach it to my friends.
Ohhhh, you can come and see the baby if you care to call
He’s lying by his mommy in a wee white shall
He looks so cute and spanky, like a dumpling in a hanky
And we’re going to call him William Angus Timothy John McCall
And and, my mom had to remind me how this one went. My Nan taught it to us once when she took us to Fibber Magee’s, a regular restaurant she visited, and we ate Paddy’s Pratties – fried potato wedges served with a bacon and cheese sauce. Here goes;
When I was a little boy
My grandma gave me a cute little toy
Silver bells hanging on a string
She told me it was my ding-a-ling
I want you to play with my ding-a-ling
Wow, and again
I want you to play with my ding-a-ling
We used to giggle because it sounds rude but it’s not really. Silly children, your Nan would never teach you a rude song!
I was lucky enough to have my Nan live right next door to me - in the cottage closest to my mom’s house which my brother now lives in - when I was a teenager. I would spend hours sitting chatting to her, doing her nails and giving her massages. We would fantasize that she would meet this amazingly handsome rich man and we would travel the world in his private jet, eat amazing food and by pretty cloths. She didn’t meet a very rich man but she did meet James Kay, who is utterly doting on her. They moved to a very small town called Wakkerstroom, which has only got one stop street, maybe two. They bought a house that used to be the old hotel, back in the Voortrekker days and have made it so beautiful. Just like an English countryside cottage. It’s quite comical because my Nan is a right pommy and can’t speak a word of Afrikaans yet she lives in a totally Afrikkans dorpie which is inhabited & surrounded by a whole bunch of big Afrikaans farmers. Luckily Jimmy is a fluent in die taal. All the locals call her Tannie Annie.
Nan you are so beautiful and wise and funny and full of fun. You’re the epitome of a lady. I love that you give me all your old makeup and cloths because you have such amazing style. I can only hope that there is a bit of you, not just your genes, in me. I love you so tremendously. Always know that.
Too you my Nan…