My grandmother passed away this week. She was in her late eighties and suffered from vascular dementia; in such circumstances these things are never entirely unexpected. But her decline was sudden. Her stubbornness was legendary within our family; we had expected her to carry on for years, dementia or no.
And just like that, a whole generation of my immediate family is gone. I have been a little maudlin over the last couple of days but today am feeling a little more...well, carpe diem-ish. All four of my grandparents lived long and full lives and left behind many fond memories and now we have a new generation in our family (my little nephew started school just the other week - how time has flown!) which is just as it should be.
My Nanny F was the first person who ever allowed me to crack an egg. Unsurprisingly, it went everywhere. We used to bake scones together in the kitchen her, my brother and I, using the old fashioned type of scales that come with weights to balance them. I remember her telling me that a good cook always cleans up as she works which is an adage I adhere to still. Whenever we went over to stay, she and my grandfather would buy in Coco Pops - it was the only time that we were allowed to eat them - and chocolate digestives which we would have with milk first thing in the morning, still tucked up in bed in the spare room. The radio was always on in the kitchen, unless it was time for the soaps or the news, in which case it was the small black and white TV on top of the fridge. She knew how fond I was of salmon and made sure that she always bought some in for me, serving it with a combination of mayonnaise and tomato sauce in a little dish on the side which I thought was terribly sophisticated.
I will miss her, miss all of them, very much and hope that they have all found each other again. And I think that I shall bake a batch of scones very soon.