Saturday 18 April 2020

'Father, whom our founder worshipped...'

I don't know who drew the picture
I should have been at a school reunion this weekend, but obviously it's not happening. I've been thinking about my old school, though, and its motto 'Nisi Dominus Frustra', which we all translated as 'My God, I'm so frustrated!' I can still remember all the words to the school hymn - I'll spare you - and have just located my teenage face on a grainy black-and-white year-group photo. Ah, how beautiful we all were; if only we'd realised it at the time.

I've dug out an old school report book that modesty forbids I reproduce here; I was clearly a bit of a swot and phrases like 'sound performance' and 'quietly competent' are repeated. I also have what is probably my first published piece of work. It was in the school magazine and I must have been 11 or 12 when I wrote it. I have typed it out here, exactly as it appeared.

About four and a half years ago my Grandma came to live with us. She can't see very well out of one eye. Because of this she watches television a lot, especially period plays, horror films, and 'Coronation Street'. 

She is fairly musical and when she could see played the violin and piano. She sings the alto part.

Grandma is a Methodist and goes to chapel every Sunday. On Mondays she goes to the 'Bright Hour'. 

She is a very tidy person and cannot bear to see any litter, especially sweet papers, lying around. She has the annoying habit of wandering round and putting things away, and so if anything is missing or has been moved from where you left it the first person to ask is Grandma.

Very often, after she has finished speaking, she will give a little 'hmm mm'. After a while this gets on people's nerves.

Of course she does have many good points. She is nearly always stocked up with sweets and willing to play draughts.

She has a television of her own and so if one person wants to watch one programme and somebody else another, one person goes in Grandma's room to solve the problem.

I'm not sure my writing style has changed that much!


  1. Delightful! Your story prompted me to recall that I'm supposed to be in the process of creating an autobiography of sorts, for the sake of my children and grandchildren, and perhaps a wider audience. I only hope I can make it at least a little bit as entertaining as your blogs...

  2. At such a young age you did a really good job portraying your grandmother. I'm impressed!