Chez Mes Grandparents
I think my grandma is the cutest thing – don’t you think?! I was absolutely delighted when I caught her with her freshly harvested lettuce, making her way from one of the outhouses to her sweet, modest little stone house in Normany, France even though she’s shy about having her photo taken. Her and my Grandad head up my whole family (who are all Norman) and ensure everyone is always well fed. This usually means a hen from the back garden and beans from my Grandad’s fine plot – a rectangle of land which I can proudly say must have the finest, well worked soil in whole of the county!
I find the pair fascinating. They count a fleece thrown over their sofa as a luxury, pretty much only have the fire to keep them warm, and plod through the days to the loud tick of their old big-ben chime style wall clock. I snuck into His workshop and was amazed by all the old tools and clever ways he’s converted old cans into colanders and such. Being thrifty is their way of life, a continuation of the days of ‘Le Systeme D’ during the war.
Their little ways – they only eat the toughest, airiest most flavourless loaves (which I dubbed ‘Crocodile bread’) and serve us little cheesy biscuits in an old little wicker basket, make me realise how far removed I am from their way of life. They’re both getting very old but no matter what, they always have great respect in themselves; keeping their garden and house looking in perfect order and working hard every day. They’re an inspiration from another time.
The famous ‘creme anglaise’ powder that we treat them to.
My mum and her siblings
My grandfather from when we worked on a commercial farm