Monday, 15 December 2008

16 December, Advent 16, Oscar Peebles, Toast and Jam

Great Granny’s eyes were a marvel. I don’t mean to make fun. I adored her, and still do. But as kids, it was great fun. We’d creep to halfway down the stairs each morning, and watch through the banister rails as she groped her way to the kitchen sink where she’d left her eyeballs soaking overnight in a jam jar. She’d take them out, shake them off, then pop them in. Then she’d turn around, and that was the fun part.
Granny’s glass eyeballs could be anywhichway in! One up, one down: crossed: both pointing the same way. It was a hoot.
Strangely though, once she’d put her eyes back in her face, it was as if she could see. She couldn’t of course. But I guess it was psychosomatic stuff, a sort of optical delusion.
Great Grandpa was all right too. A tall, gangly, scrawny man with a thin reedy voice … mostly dozing in his deckchair in the shade, or in his armchair beside the fire.
When we kids came to sit with him for a breather between games, he’d come alive and begin to tell us tales. But he was so slow. It was months between each word. We got fed up, or slumped down waiting, so the story lost all connection or interest. Half way through it, we’d either have gone to sleep, or gone off to play again, and Grandpa would lapse back into comatose.
It was Granny who told us his stories, sitting around that big old wooden table in the middle of the kitchen each morning … her eyes in all sorts of positions. It was spooky sometimes. It was always toast and jam for breakfast.

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