He was always one for a bit of a BET. Uncle Walt, that is. He’s dead though, now. Along with a lot of other people! My Nan used to tell me about him. She’s dead too, But when they were alive they always used to have a bet about who could get their legs around their neck. It all came to an end when Nan got a BOYFRIEND. Well actually he was the farm hand, but he became her boyfriend. He’s dead now, too. But he made my Nan pregnant. Maybe it was the CHEESE that did it. I have no idea what kind of cheese they ate, but I know from television adverts that some kinds of cheese do queer things. I think it was a bit of a kind of a drip drip on Nan’s head really. There was always plenty of good FARE on the table, it being a farm where they lived. And Great Grandad treated Nan a bit like a servant. They did in those days. The farm hand stuck up for her to Great Grandad. Told him off good and proper he did. Nan began to take a real shine to him. That’s why she became pregnant. But there was a lot of FEAR in the house too. Great Grandad really used to give everybody a lot of FLACK. It wasn’t much FUN all round when Nan got pregnant. It just wasn’t done in those days. In fact some people thought that they should HANG the man who did it to an innocent girl.
Actually Great Grandad kept making Great Grandma pregnant. Not sure how many they had because they lost a few . People did in those days. But they weren’t NEGLIGENT. No, but they were very strict. And the kids didn’t often get NEW clothes. Nan once told me about how she fell into a muddy PUDDLE the one time she did get a nice new dress. Great Grandma was really angry, and yelled at her,
“What did you mean by falling into that puddle?”
Nan replied that she couldn’t help the RAIN. And that just for the RECORD, Walt had fallen in worse than puddles many a time.
But, if Great Grandad had not kept making Great Grandma pregnant, then my Mum wouldn’t have been born, and then neither would I. And that might have been a good thing because I am always making up silly stories like this. Only trouble is, this isn’t really a silly one because it is all true.
I think there was a lot of RHUBARB around in those days. Not being far from Yorkshire, they acquired the habit. It wasn’t a bad one though. Great Grandma used to SKIM the top off the milk, to make some lovely creamy custard. She was very SUBTLE in how she did it too, putting in a secret ingredient that she would not reveal to anybody. That made Nan a bit mad, really. She always wanted to know everything, and didn’t like secrets, unless they were hers. Being pregnant was one of them – for a while anyway!
Great Grandma was a wonderful seamstress. She could do anything with a needle and THREAD. Often, whilst she was sewing, she would get the TOFFEE tin out, and hand them round. It was often quite a sticky occasion, but not quite as sticky as being pregnant when you weren’t meant to be.
Anyway, for a while, Nan felt herself to be a bit of a WORM, though she swore blind it was not her fault, and that she hadn’t known what she was doing. Probably quite true in those days. But who knows, it might have been WORTH it in the end because I got born. I’m still not quite sure whether that was a Good Thing or a Bad Thing!