“Your grumpy grandad”
1. I have a vague memory that Jones referred to my paternal grandfather once as “your grumpy grandad”, and that I expressed some sort of objection to him for it. (I wouldn’t have felt it my right to use such a derogatory descriptor to refer, for example, to “Dads”, though he could be testy at times.) I don’t think my protest brought about any relenting on Jones’s part, though: just his somewhat surprised assertion that my grandad was indeed grumpy. I don’t think I went as far as punching him in the expanse of his soft, grey-pullover-clad belly, as I did on another occasion.[i]
“We dun’t want boys in while we’re ’avin’ uz teas”
“Dinner”, the main meal of the day, always and invariably started at 12.30 p.m., and “tea”, the lighter evening meal, at 4.30 p.m. Nanny and Grandad Cooper came from Sheffield in south Yorkshire,[iii] but there must have been a common culture across much of the north of England, particularly among the older generation, for the same or very similar mealtimes were kept by Chris’s relatives in Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
3. Chris was aware of the situation, and had perhaps made what he considered to be sufficient allowance for it in the timing of his visit, to call for me. Nevertheless, when he knocked on the windowless green-painted wooden side door, which was located in the corner of the kitchen — perhaps I opened it — he heard from beyond the living-room door, open in the diametrically opposite corner, my Grandad’s irascible call: “We dun’t want boys in while we’re ’avin’ uz teas.” It could be that I was expecting Chris and answered the door, only to have to shut him out. “’Avin’ uz teas” wasn’t an activity that could be accomplished within a few minutes. It couldn’t be rushed: one was required to rest for a period afterwards to “let it go down”.
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