When I look in the mirror (which isn’t very often, because with all my faults, vanity is not amongst them), I see a woman of a certain age, slightly overweight, of medium height, wearing glasses, with her own teeth, a thick head of hair and a smooth and wrinkleless complexion. In fact, I don’t think I look too bad on a good day and with a minimum of slap. I write, cook, care for a number of animals, look after the garden in a haphazard way and once in a while do a little vague housework, so I regard myself as keeping fairly busy despite my naturally slothful nature.
But am I deluding myself?
“Grandmothers don’t have to do anything but be there. They are old so they shouldn’t play hard or run.
They should never say, “Hurry up”. Usually they are fat, but not too fat to tie children’s shoes.
They wear glasses and funny underwear, and they can take their teeth and gums off.
They don’t have to be smart, only answer questions, like why dogs hate cats and why God isn’t married.
They don’t talk baby-talk like visitors. When they read to us, they don’t skip bits, or mind if it is the same story over again.
Everybody should have one, especially if you don’t have television, because grandmothers are the only grown-ups who have the time!”
Patsy Gray, Age 7½. From: Grandmother’s Notebook by Juliette Clarke