By KATE HUNTER
There are as many kinds of grandmothers as there are, well, grandmothers. According to the people who make most ads, TV shows and movies though, grandmas are nice, slightly squishy old ladies who like to bake and go to bed after A Current Affair. Most grandads are pleasantly grizzled old gents who wear floppy canvas hats, are good are building billy-carts and telling stories about the war – any war.
I was lucky when it came to grandparents, I knew all four of them well. My kids still have their four grandparents, we live close to them and spend time with them pretty regularly.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by The Aerogard Great Gran and Grampout. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Not one of my grandparents, or my kids’ grandparents falls into the screen-cliches described above.
My father-in-law for example, fought in Vietnam, but understandably, prefers not to talk about it. Despite being 82, he’s right into computers and loves nothing more than the kids showing him the funny, stupid stuff they’ve found on YouTube.
My mum is 73 this month and is the opposite of your knitting nanna. She’s fit as a flea with a Stairmaster, drives a fast car (thankfully, not fast) loves a foreign film, and is more likely to take my girls shopping for new clothes than teach them to make scones. A pity, really, I like fresh scones more than new clothes.
My own bag of memories with grandparents is mixed. Pop was a racing man – my parents married on a Thursday because there was a big meeting at Flemington that Saturday. It was all right though because he won enough to cover the reception. His wife, my Gran, was a tiny, lovely woman. Gran did cook – her pasties were a standout, but she broke the mould by liking pop music and always watched Countdown with me.
We called Dad’s parents Nana and Grandpa. They were Croatian. Nana wore black and smelled of coffee. She a brilliant cook – mysterious soups and feather-light donuts and walnut biscuits we called ‘horseshoes’ emerged from her teeny kitchen all day long. Nana had a hard life though and was almost always cranky, so the delicious food was often served with a scowl not a snuggle. We didn’t care though because Grandpa was a hug, personified. He had crazy white hair like Boris Yeltsin and wore the kid of black-framed glasses currently worn by hipsters. He drank schnapps and brandy out of thimble-sized glasses and ate boiled sausages and boiled eggs for breakfast every day.