Tea at Grandmas house

After and  the Sunday lunch dishes were washed and put away, Mum would begin the weekly ritual of getting myself and younger sister Vivianne ready to go and visit Grandma Ridley, dads Mum for tea. I was six and Vivianne was two and a half.Dressed in our best frilly dresses, sandals whitened,and hair brushed until it shone, we set out to catch the bus to Ryhope Village where Grandma lived. She was a very cold austere person,dressed usually in a white blouse with a broach at her throat,black skirt and her very fine grey hair pulled back into a bun. Four pm on the dot we arrived. The table was set with a pristine damask table cloth and the best china as it was Sunday.

The smell of home made scones drifted from the cream triplex coal oven and the kettle boiled merrily on the fire.We were ushered to the large soft victoran settee ,where we were told to sit and speak when we were spoken to. Grandma prepared the tea while chatting to Mum who sat uncomfortably beside us ,waiting to be shown to the table. Vivianne was given a mug but at the age of six I was expected to manage a cup and saucer. Table manners were of the utmost important and woe betide me if any crumbs when onto the carpet on the floor. Mum gave a silent sigh of relief when tea was over and the presious china was cleared away. We were told to open the top drawer of the bow fronted victorian chest of drawers where our pocket money was kept. There was always a shiney new sixpence each, which we thanked her for politely, and shyly gave her a peck on the cheek. I was taken upstairs to the bedroom and given a lace handkerchief, taken from the bottom drawer of a huge wardrobe, the contents of which smelled strongly of moth balls and lavender. It was folded neatly and put into my dress pocket. Every lady should always have a clean hankerchief she said ,a faint smile on her face. How I would have loved to give her a hug and jump onto the huge feather bed, that had been shaken until it was nearly as high as me. Grandma must have seen the mischievous look on my face and taking my hand led me quickly back down the stairs. We never felt welcome enough to stay very long. I am sure she loved us in her own way. I am a nana myself now and always make sure my grandson gets lots of kisses and hugs, which are more precious than gold.

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About gskelton

I am a sixty two year old wife mother and grandmother . A member of the senior scribblers writting group in Sunderland england. I also enjoy cooking and socialising with friends. I read quite a lot mainly in the catherine cookson style . One of my favorite authers is Rita Bradshaw. Holidays in Benidorm are a regular occurance for myself and my wonderful Husband Alf of 44 years

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