Tuesday, 15 June 2010


Up until the ripe old age of 18, I was privelleged enough to retain all 4 grandparents. Then grandad Fernando passed into the Other Side, finally succumbing to a life of chain-smoking. He was a big figure, larger than life, a wireless telegraph operator at Lisbon Airport. A humourless dictator at home, but a mellow bunny to his grandchildren. As a young man, he learned english by hearing the BBC World Service, and to the day he died, anthough he had a fairly limited vocab, he sounded so posh it was untrue. Then, just a few months ago was grandad Julio 's turn. He was a simple man, a bright mind in a humble and poor shell. In another life he would have been an engineer or doctor or anything, but the son of a cobbler in the 1920's had no such possibilities. He became an office worker, his mind a giant addition machine. He was a loving, rude man, partially deaf, hence his constant LOUD VOICE. He taught me to think before I act, to look beyond the obvious into the detail, and to ask 'Why?'. Ultimatly, I believe, he turned me into a scientist. 5 days ago was the turn of nan Cristina. A simple soul, that never had many ambitions in life. A homemaker her whole life, she never craved more than to have a happy family, and she did, raising 3 children and helping to raise 3 grandchildren. Yesterday, I lost the last one, nan Maria. She'd been ill, so it was expected. She worked for a pharmaceutical company, made pastries to sell in restaurants, and was, I believe with all my heart, happy, if scared all the time, of pretty much anything, I will miss them all, and treasure their presence in my life for all time. Godspeed, my lovelies. We shall meet again Beyond the Veil.