Friday, 4 October 2013

With tea and a lemon cream biscuit....

Yes I know I have just been doing these random little updates and nothing more. So be it - I know that when I can/need/ want to "speak" this vehicle is there. But this morning I am feeling nostalgic.

Possibly because my MIL arrived last night to watch the kid's revue concert next week, but also to help during this busy time. You all know that I adore her - not only for the stunning mom she is to me (because honestly she is no MIL in the negative sense of the word) but also because she is the type of grandmother she is. The type that immediately noted the kid's requests the moment we walked into the door last night after the concert. The type that this morning assured C that they will play snakes and ladders later this afternoon, that even last night had A read a book to her for her book list and that ate her dinner last night in discomfort as L just could not resist sitting on her lap even during dinner. The type of gran my granny Anna used to be.

Gosh I loved her. She was the most amazing woman and a total lady (not to mention totally OCD but that's all part of the package) until the day she passed away at age 90. Anna Boshof was born in a concentration camp in 1902 during the Anglo Boer War. I do not know much about her early years and really want to find out more. She married my grandfather, a Coetzee and a health inspector from the Cape and had two sons, one being my father. By the time I was born she was a widow and my only two cousins were already teenagers. She showered all her grandmotherly attention on me and I totally loved her for it. I remember making rice crispie cookies with her, obsessively cleaning after, but still having fun while doing it. I remember the OK bazaars Pick n Mix in a bowl on the dining room table from which I was allowed only one while my parents where there. But the moment they walked out of the door, I had free reign of the bowl and she would fetch my favorite mint creams out of the side board where she specially kept some out. I remember visiting her for school holidays in her little flat in Sunnyside where we used to walk to the bakery for fresh white bread, xxxx mints for her and a poodle meringue for me. Afternoons at Peter's pancake place in Sunnypark and listening to LM radio with her. They used to vacation in Lorenzo Marques(now Maputu) for years and I sat with the the day LM went off air.

I have vivid memories of her and her purple rinse friends playing bridge on a Wednesday afternoon and after 4pm I had to wrestle ice out of those old steel ice trays and bring it to the dining room table for their gin & tonics. I was allowed a tonic with lemon - I still love the taste of it, and to sit with them while they took a break. They were such a great bunch of ladies - they always loved to hear my little stories. For the rest of the time, I entertained myself - being an only child makes you a great reader and she was the first to offer me a Danielle Steel book to read. She was funky like that.

Funny enough her appeal to me never wore off and different to some other grandmothers and granddaughters (and me with my other grandmother) our relationship grew and grew. Maybe we were just kindred spirits, maybe we shared the gap my father left. I really do not know. What I do know is we totally loved to spend time, right up to her death. She always was my go to person, the one to discuss things with. She would never judge. She would seldom complain. She always saw the beauty in life and she was always a self sufficient lady. I will never forget how she treated all that was wrong in your life. Regardless if you bumped your toe at 6 or your boyfriend broke up with you at 16, she could fix everything that was wrong with a strong cup of tea - always served out of a proper Royal Albert teapot and cups- and a lemon cream biscuit. Occasionally it was an Eat some more biscuit.

Best I go buy some lemon cream biscuits now, or do you think I will get Pick n Mix anywhere?


  1. What beautiful memories!And oh, those lemon cream biscuits, I haven't had one of those in years...

  2. These are such beautiful memories of times when anything could be fixed by tea and a lemon cream. Now you have me all nostalgic too.

  3. lovely memories!

    I hadn't had lemon creams for yonks but yet D and Connor came home last weekend with Lemon Creams :)

  4. Ooh, I remember those pick n mix sweets too - my gran always used to take us there to go pick out some when we used to visit. And she ALWAYS had imperial mints in her hand bag.

  5. What lovely memories! xx


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