Yiayia And Bapou

I spent a lot of my time at my grandparents house. I lived there for a while, we all did, while our house was being rebuilt. I always remember it as being sunny.

My grandparents had their own farm in Cyprus and gave it all up when they moved over to the UK. They spent all their time in the garden, growing fruit and vegetables. I remember the huge rhubarb plants and hollyhocks, trying to trap the bumble bees in the flowers and getting stung way too many times to realise I would always end up getting hurt.

My grandad grew tomatoes, millions of the things, which is probably why I don't like them that much today. They would hang in huge bunches around the kitchen waiting to ripen. The smell would be unbearabl, almost suffocating, but nowadays it brings back memories. There's photos of me and my sister hiding through the plants, peering out as if we were explorers in the jungle.

In the Autumn/Winter time they would burn things, now I know it was just the dead plants to refertilise the soil and get rid of disease, but we would all sit outside watching my grandad poke the fire for hours on end, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and an eye on us checking we weren't too close.

My gran was, and still is, always in the kitchen. The house would be full of wonderful smells of food, cakes, grilled meat, vegetables and garlic. The smell you only get when you mix the holy trinity of vegetables, onion, celery and carrot cooked in olive oil. There was always the odd smell of alcohol around. She'd use Zivania on everything, from cuts to toothaches to cleaning the silver. Followed by a quick shot once her deed was done. It's probably the secret to her long life...

She would always try and comb my hair, plait it or try to try to tame it. It never really worked. She was always glamorous, even now she is. The kind of 40's style that she got stuck in from her 20's. Her cluctch handbag, her neat little cardigans, tight perm and hankie hidden up her sleeve. She has a pose that has gone through the years in photos, which earned her the name of Vasilisa/Queen from the time we could speak.

There's things she does for us now still, like the cup of tea ready for us when we go to visit her, the slice of toast dripping in honey and the slip of a five pound note to each grandchild on pension day.

MrsLalaninjacakes MrsLalaninjacakes
26-30, F
6 Responses Feb 28, 2010

hehe it was

Thank you lovely people x<br />
<br />
The smell today even gets to me, always tomatoes on the vine..

What a wonderful story. It is a blessing to have lovely childhood memories. Your descriptions were so vivid that I could smell the vegtables. As usual, thank you for sharing my friend!

I second the first reply's emotion

It was, I dearly love them

What a privlage for you to be briught up in such a loving and caring family .....