She suffers from vascular dementia so she doesn't remember an awful lot. The last time I saw her she refused to believe I was her granddaughter as I was far too old and her poppelschöne is only a little girl.
Poppelschöne is German for darling. My nan is from Germany.
She moved to England after meeting my grandad and falling in love. After he ran over her with an army vehicle in the clean up operation after World War Two.
Before you ask....yes, she was in the Hitler Youth.
According to my grandad, my nan used to skip everywhere, stopping to smell every flower and give every living thing a name and a personality.
So that's where I get that from....
Thats the only time I really heard anything like that from my grandad. He and my nan never actually seemed to get on all that well. They call each other "Nulli"
That means "toilet" in German.
My nan has always been notorious for her love of alcohol. She was rarely sober but never quite drunk. My mum says the only time she's ever seen her drunk after having known her around 19 years was at my mum and dad's wedding 17 years ago. Apparently she got totally shitfaced.
Obviously dementia develops quite gradually. So in my living memory, my Nan's never really had a perfect memory.
Every time we were given ketchup, it was around 6 years out of date. It's probably 90% of the reason I don't like ketchup actually....
One time she gave me a cheese board so I could make my own sandwiches for dinner. I was adamant that something didn't taste right, but was met with protests of "nonsense, nonsense! Eat your dinner up and you can have biscuits!" I was around 9 years old at the time. Finally, my nan tasted my sandwich and realised.
"Oh sheisse. Oh crumbs...mutti mutti mutti!"
"What is it, Omi?"
"This appears to be brandy butter..."
It was just after Christmas so I can see how she got mixed up in all fairness.
Who could forget the time we made meringues together? I had to go home just after we put them in the oven but i was reassured that they would be there when I came next, ready to eat with whipped cream.
A few weeks later I went round and burst through the door looking for my meringues (I have a massive sweet tooth). When I asked my nan about them, she couldn't remember a thing.
I looked in the aga only to find 6 piles of soot on a baking tray.
One time I was round her house and was clearing out a cupboard filled with mouse droppings.
"Nonsense! They're chocolate!"
They were 100% definitely mouse droppings.....
I got to the back of the cupboard and found 9 purses, each with around €200 inside....
Turns out each time my nan went to Germany, she stored her purse away for the next time she went, and then forgot it was there. Each time she bought a new purse. Each time she put it to the back of the cupboard.
She was so embarrassed at her failing memory she paid me £20 not to tell my parents...
Naturally, I still told them, and they laughed at forgetful old Omi and her dopey old ways
It's just the way she's always been!
Now she's in a specialist care home known as an EMI unit. She's always been stubborn and has worked her whole life so didn't take kindly to being looked after.
In hospital she kept running off to clear up the dinner things and she would often be found "tsk"ing about the state of a chair and attempting to clean it.
It's definitely best she's in a care home. One day she decided she wanted some ice cream, however thought she'd strain it first. She put it in a plastic strainer and left it on the aga to warm up.....
That didn't go down too well to say in the least.
We also caught her drinking neat bacardi by the glass full. We'd thought it was water.....
Yeah, she'd go on walks and get lost so it's great she's being looked after and she's happy where she is.
She has a friend who she watchs soaps with and cuddles.
But having smoked all her life, she did miss her ciggies. One day, she was out for a walk and saw a bloke with a cigarette. She walked over, pinched it out from his mouth and pegged it.
She's bloody quick, my nan. You'd have a hell of a time trying to catch her...
She runs away from the care home staff too. It takes several of them to catch her.
We bought her her very own ciggies so she's all okay.
She was ecstatic when we brought her a bottle of gin. She may not recognise me but she sure as hell knows a bottle of gin when she sees it. The staff put it away in the cupboard and within 5 minutes she was trying to get in there.
She always has forgotten how old i am. When I was 13 she wanted me to drive her to Lidl. She also took my grandads joking suggestion of a whiskey after I declined tea or coffee seriously.
When I was 8 she gave me a liqueur chocolate filled with vodka and I thought my throat was being burned away.
Two days before my 14th birthday I had a frantic phone call apologizing for forgetting my birthday. It took 20 minutes to explain to her that she hadn't missed it yet.
For my 15th I received 2 birthday cards as she'd forgotten she'd already sent one.
She gets annoyed at my dad and grandad a lot and isn't afraid to call them "gesamt Sheissköpfe".
She would complain a lot at hospital about how the nurses were simply doing everything wrong. And thus she had to put the sheets on her own bed and God forbid anyone tries to help her.
My little nan has always made me laugh and still manages to do so, with her pretending to be asleep every time my dad comes to visit, her naughty mishaps and her pure stubbornness.