Hush Harkee Chickadeeto! Memory book 3

    (Sorry I’ve given up with the linky this week, it won’t show up and it appears to have attributed last week’s comments to this post and eaten last week’s posts – grrr).
    Alexander Residence has been nominated for the MADs blog of the year, a little bird told me this was because of Little Legacy.  Great oaks from tiny acorns grow, and whether or not this goes any further it’s lovely that Little Legacy has been honoured in this way. Thank you x

    Tinned peaches, toasted teacakes, crumpets, crinkle cut chips. This week I want to honour my maternal Gran, who will always be fondly remembered for her love of convenience foods.  She lived round the corner from both my primary schools, so we often went to her house for lunch, or after school.  When we were too ill to go to school we were wrapped up in a tartan rug on her huge sofa, part of a gigantic three piece suite which totally dwarfed her tiny bird like frame.  It had big block like cushions, perfect den building apparatus.

    She had a wicked sense of humour and loved silly songs, which I still like to sing, especially when in the car on my own, or when the kids are creating a fuss in the back.

    We’re off we’re off we’re off in a motor car, fifty bobbies are after us and we don’t know where we are.

    On song will always remind me of watching Gran, loading up the last of her possessions in a Pork Farms van my Dad had borrowed from work. I think she was finally leaving our old house in Neston, which she lived in for us when Dad got a new job in Staffordshire, but the house wouldn’t sell. She moved lots, following her daughters around the country after the death of my Grandfather, who died before I was born, perhaps that explains why this music hall moving day anthem was one of her favourites.

    My old man said “Follow the van,

    And don’t dilly dally on the way”.

    Off went the van wiv me ‘ome packed in it,

    I followed on wiv me old cock linnet.

    But I dillied and dallied, dallied and I dillied

    Lost me way and don’t know where to roam.

    Well you can’t trust a special like the old time coppers

    When you can’t find your way ‘ome

    And she would tell me and my little brother silly stories…

    Three robbers sat in a cave, and one of them said to Antonio, Antonio tell us a tale, and Antonio began as follows.  Three robbers sat in a cave…

    And if we became too wild, or too excited by den building and leaping off sofas she would suddenly hiss Hush!  before pausing dramatically and barking Harkee!  Then there would be another long lingering dramatic pause and we would wait, nervously giggling, watching the glint in her eye and trying to predict when she would finally cry out, as fast as a bursting balloon:


    Hush! Harkee! Chickadeeto!  I have no idea what it means or where it comes from, but it sounds awesome.

    Although she didn’t provide me with Gran’s trademark crinkle cut chip recipe, Mum stuck a picture of Gran in the Bridge Street Vegetarian Cookbook she made me, next to the recipe for Crisp Apple Crumble.  I’m not sure where the recipe came from, but it was one we often ate together. Here’s Me, Gran, Mum and Grandma, and a fab recipe.

    Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by inspiring people. Feel free to link up a little legacy you’ve been thinking about this week, or to leave one in the comments. Here’s the code and here’s more on Little Legacy.  Memory Book is my plan to make a family book of these memories, join up and see where it takes you?


    Memory Book 2 – Will you have a sherry then?

    My Memory Book is taking shape, although I see this project as quite a loose collection of memories and ideas, rather than a regimented family history.  I keep going back to the analogy of sewing a patchwork quilt. Perhaps this week you’ll join me, or maybe you’re still mulling, there’s lots to be said for letting the subconscious mind play with ideas on its own for a bit.

    I realised I have some bits and pieces of ideas around my blog, and in my notebooks about my paternal Grandma, and so today I am going to stitch those together. She’s the only one of my grandparents to meet a great grandchild, in Grandma’s case it was L. She died just before G was due,  her funeral was two days before he was born.

    There is something about seeing these hands I find so moving. So wise, they touched so much, held so much, helped so much, soothed so much.  Made so many flowers grow, baked so many cakes, prepared so many miners’ dinners as manager of the colliery canteen.

    Even at 94 Grandma still loved to treat her friends and family with food. No one could escape from her Nursing Home without being offered sherry or chocolate. Grandma normally only drank one glass of sherry herself, but she was always the hostess to guests, keeping not just plates, but glasses full.   She was lucky to be surrounded by a wonderfully supportive group of neighbours and helpers who enabled her to remain in her own home so long, by regularly dropping by to check in on her. By all accounts it was very difficult to refuse a top up from such a gentle but insistent lady in her early nineties.  There were occasions when visitors stepped out of Grandma’s house, into the cool night air of Coronation Avenue, only to realise she had got them somewhat tipsy.

    The picture above reminds me of some memories I jotted down in an old notebook after visiting with L.

    Grandma eagerly turns the small gold biscuit tin round in her hands, loosening its lid. She eyes her 6 month old great granddaughter, lovingly. She has waited impatiently for this moment.

    ‘Will she have a little bit of chocolate?’ she smiles.

    ‘Sorry Grandma she’s not allowed it yet,’ I say.

    ‘Oh of course!’ Grandma laughs but she looks disappointed, she is desperate to be the first to treat her. Instead she settles for giving her a bottle of milk and laughs as L pulls at her glasses.

    ‘She’s eating well, that’s good then.’ Grandma seems satisfied for a moment and then she fidgets and looks round, sensing something is not quite right. She turns to me and smiles, ‘Will you have a sherry then?’

    It’s three o’ clock on a Wednesday afternoon, but it seems rude to say no.

    Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by inspiring people. Feel free to link up a little legacy you’ve been thinking about this week, or to leave one in the comments. Here’s the code and here’s more on Little Legacy.  Memory Book is my plan to make a family book of memories, join up and see where it takes you?

    Next week I am either going to post about the joys of staying at my grandparents as a child, write more on food and treats, or document my Gran’s penchant for silly songs. Just in case that gives anyone any inspiration.


    Your Tooth Fairy Ideas and Giveaway

    So as you can see form the pics, L’s first tooth came out.  It fell out faster than I expected, and I felt a sudden sense of panic. I remembered it popping through as a baby tooth and felt a pang of nostalgia, I remembered the fairy magic my own mum conjured for me, and I realised I had no plan for this milestone. So I turned to facebook and Twitter.  Here’s what I discovered:

    On the going rate everyone suggested £1 per tooth, although there are exceptions:

    Becky at Baby Budgeting said

    £1, except for when the tooth fairy is very busy and can’t make it that night (codeword ; mummy forgot!!!!!!) then she leaves double the next night to make up for it..the shame. If the tooth goes missing e.g swallowed /left in a library book at school you have to leave a letter on the bedroom door telling the tooth fairy what has happened.

    My friend N also makes exceptions in special circumstances

    the tooth fairy sometimes brings more for the big front tooth that had to be dragged out before the school photo to get rid of ongoing ‘Nanny Mcphee’ look

    My friend M suggested molars should be £2. Bavarian Soujourn agreed, but in euros.

    My friend T

    Wrote to the tooth fairy appealing for a small donation even in times of recession (the 80s?)  My mother carried that letter round with her almost to the day she died… (I have to admit, she actually carried the tooth around for many years, until I told her that was revolting).


    My friend F told me not to make the mistake of giving just a pound, but to give change. My sister in law agreed:

    my standard rate is £1 but the little ones like it in change.  I also wrote little letters in tiny writing,once I made a fairy card out of feathers

    Like my sister in law, lots of you get creative:

    Super Amazing Mum is just what it say on the tin when it comes to the Tooth Fairy:

    All of my kids have their “own” tooth fairy. They are the same age as the kids and write them lovely letters in very curly writing….both fairies say that if the kids are worried about anything, they can always write to them for advice…lots of mums around this way now do the same so we have a mafia of fairies who know each other and write personalised letters!

    Emma of Bavarian Soujourn and Laura of Dichotomy of write letters, Laura writes

    about what the tooth is going to build in toothtown.

    The Ana Mum Diary tooth fairy even has her own email address.

    I wrote about my mum’s creative approaches in another blog post;

    Once my mum in role as tooth fairy, made a fairy playground out of the objects on my desk.  She also left a copy of Beatrix Potter’s The Fairy Caravan open on my desk.  It was the closest thing to magic I have ever come across.

    @Milla64 suggested a fairy pot, her tweeted recipe goes as follows:

    tiny jar (hotel jam) golden thread (misguided sewing project, churned up sewingmachine) chopped up wonky-writing note, £1 in pot.

    Although Kate Takes 5 has a word of warning on creativity:

    Start as you mean to go on! I got too excited on the first one and put glitter and a rose petal under the pillow along with the coin (I know I know). For the next tooth she wrote a letter to the tooth fairy asking for more glitter, more petals and a picture of the fairy. The next one she wrote 20 fairy questions she wanted to know the answer to (plus picture, glitter and petals) etc. The more you feed it the worse it gets.

    And on the tooth fairy extracting the tooth from under the pillow there were the following wisdoms:

    Laura’s son…

    used to make traps to catch the fairy…or a redfaced me.

    Jen at Mum in the Madhouse

    Made the boys a little heart with a pocket in to put their tooth in, this made it easier to find and exchange, or it would if Maxi didn’t swallow his!

    My friend S joked on facebook minutes before I went in to do the deed that

    you have to actually wear wings!


    Jen at Love Chic Living thoughtfully reminded me:

    if you throw the tooth away make sure L can’t find it later. I’ve had some near experiences!

    I’ve loved reading all your tooth fairy ideas and I hope you don’t mind me sharing them, if I have featured you I will enter you all in the draw automatically.  I invite everyone else to please enter through the comments. Here’s how:

    The PRIZE

    The prize is a £50 experience voucher for Experience Days.  And before you ask, yes you can get a WHOLE experience for £50 (jet ski, rally driving, afternoon tea for two, a fashion shoot to name a few), or put it towards something bigger.

    Just fill in the rafflecopter, leave one of your best tooth fairy ideas, anecdotes, little legacies, reminiscences or link to a tooth fairy ideas post, in the comments below.

    Competition closes 12 noon Wednesday 7th March.  UK entries only. One winner will be chosen at random.

    Next week I will be searching for your wisdoms on a new topic, prizes and suggestions for topics greatfully received!