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Updated: Jun 24, 2022

My grandad (on my mum’s side):

1. puked on my grandma,

sat beside him on The Speedway,

rising and falling

in stomach-churning circles,

on their first day together

at the Winterton Show

2. sent her a love letter

to tell her that he missed her

when she went to Bridlington without him

(just the one letter - long and carefully written)

3. bought his girls a bike for Christmas

(ever generous with his winnings)

4. in diabetic defiance,

was caught eating Mr Whippy

on the roof of Barry Collins

5. on April Fool’s Day,

(thinking his wife would find it funny)

he faked a sugar-coma -

laying corpse-still and pallid

until she came upon him

6. found a letter on the table

to tell him that she’d left him

but, hiding in the pantry

and proving that she’d moved him,

(when he started crying)

she decided to forgive him

7. saved loose change in his jackpot

to buy us sweets and chocolate

8. had two tales he told us

every Christmas Eve and August -

one of hanging stockings

and one, the story of a journey

of a roof-rack piled with cases

and us children on the M18,

flagging down the ice-cream van

from the central reservation

9. donned a Margaret Thatcher rosette

to provoke a revolution

10. sat in his flat cap,

in his armchair,

watching Grandstand on the tele,

when we’d run in from the garden

to the dead-red heat

of a two-bar fire

and the the soothing booming voices of

Dave Davies and Des Lynam -

their ardent football commentary

a knotted thread attaching me

to that sitting room in Scunthorpe

on any eighties Saturday

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