Friday, 23 July 2010

Famous Grannies

There aren't any, famous grannies that is - at least none of note according to my research. True, the research wasn't exactly in depth - I googled 'grannies' and google asked me if I meant 'trannies' then threw up a bunch of porn sites and a list of ageing celebs who've apparently got toyboys young enough to be their grandsons. Good on them I say.

Adding famous to the search gave me 'famous five grannies' which I cautiously opened with one eye closed just in case it was another porn site. Happily, it turned out to be a regular group of walking grannies who'd just traversed the coast of England for charity - good on them too. Although walking round a whole country is a step too far for me!

Then I got totally sidetracked by Hell's Grannies, that brilliant Monty Python sketch about hoody-type grannies terrorizing the neighbourhood - hysterically funny (I watched it on you tube) but not the least bit helpful in the how-to granny area.

The Queen is a famous granny I suppose, and her mum. But since their fame came through Queening and Queen Mumming, don't think they really count. Besides, not sure royal grannying tips, even if I could get hold of any, would have much relevance for me and George. And Margaret Thatcher's another. Apparently, when one of her twins produced, she greeted the news with "we are a grandmother". Daft old Tory trout, she's definitely not getting on my admirable-grannies-worthy-of-emulating list.

Grannies in literature aren't much better. Terry Pratchett's Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax are the best (I love Terry Pratchett) his characters are unreal, but they're also unreal I mean as in fantastical, eldritch, alternative-universe-balanced-by-four-elephants-on-the-back-of-a-giant-tortoise, unreal. (If you're not familiar with TP's work skip this paragraph) so they're not ideal as role models plus the fact they're witches.

The general coverage of the state of grannyhood, was, I'd almost decided, rubbish. So, imagine my surprise when I turned on my computer this morning and AOL, instead of flashing up 'Lose ten stone every day for a week with our exciting pumpkin diet' or 'How stuffed broccoli pillows can save your marriage' offered up 'Ten Lessons from Grandma' (nah nah, seems like my ubiquitous Uug boot and man-bag theory isn't so nuts after all) I was almost excited.

Alas, most of Grandma AOL's lessons weren't worth reading let alone learning. Neither a borrower or a lender be was one gem. Love they neighbour was another. Sounds more like the ten commandments than granny advice. The most puerile of all was a little homily about the joys of family holidays - nothing wrong with that I hear you say. No? Granny AOL claims half the joy is in the getting there - the eye spy on the way, the nature spotting, the uplifting singing. Yes, right, absolutely?

Apart from the fact the daughter A. bless her, isn't planning to take me on hols any time soon, and rightly so, and I've got the choral abilities of a drain, Granny AOL obviously hasn't been on many long car journey with kids, or at least not normal ones. As small people mine were mostly brilliant but filled with holiday excitement and strapped into a car they turned into obnoxious little megalomaniacs "I haven't got enough room, I want a sandwich. I want a drink. I want a wee. I've left my bucket and spade in the hall." And of course the obligatory "Are we there yet?" at five minute intervals. But that was their job. I wouldn't have dared to spoil all that by suggesting any sort of jolly sing-song. I hope George turns out just like his/her lovely mum.

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