You’re only 90 once!

Gracey with her great-grandmother ‘Ninnin’

Today ladies and gents is my Nan’s 90th birthday, what an achievement! What an excuse to celebrate. If you stop to do a little maths you’ll see she was born in 1920 in Winsford, Cheshire and her father was a teacher in the local school therefore she has hounded me all my life for correct speech, she’s a stickler for it. It used to make me growl as a child but now I’m grateful for it.

She still lives on her own and is completely independent and her preferred shops are Primark, Lidl and the local charity shops where she will spend many happy hours searching. She always looks perfectly groomed and no one would ever know if she was wearing Chanel or Primark – only she’s proud to brag about her bargains! Oh and she’s mad about bling, has a drawer full of all sorts.

Of course she survives on the ridiculous state pension of £5000 and is the most thrifty person I know. She once called me a wicked child as instead of putting her half eaten Christmas pudding in the already over laden Christmas fridge for her to enjoy later, I threw it in the bin.

Her hand drawn self portrait as a young woman

She keeps her mind active with the Daily Telegraph crossword, reading and recently she has mastered Sudoku. Her pastimes include drawing and painting and had the war not broken out she would have liked to go to college to be a fashion designer. She once wrote to Jimmy Saville about this and blow me, he invited her into his Jim’ll Fix It studios and off she went with a team of experts to have a couple of her pre war designs made up and modelled. They were later displayed in the V&A museum in London for the world to see. We still have the video tape to prove it.

Another of her hobbies that has rubbed off on me over the years is needlework. She doesn’t do so much now as her eyes aren’t as good but her house is crammed with beautifully framed cross stitch, crewel stitch and other craftworks in various mediums.

She also keeps fit by walking. She is quite capable of scaring the life out of us by walking a few miles for a ‘breath of fresh air’. She is active socially too holding a weekly coffee morning with a gang of ladies who sit, chat, drink coffee and eat home-made cakes and biscuits. (See there are good things to look forward to in our later years)

She is the biggest hypochondriac I know, I think she’s on first names with our family doctor and the receptionist recognises her by her voice alone BUT she’s as fit as a fiddle for it, in fact she has had so many operations in her life I don’t think there are many parts of her body that haven’t been tinkered with a surgeon’s knife.

So what does a 90-year-old lady really enjoy? Well, chocolate is high on the list, soft centered ones these days or a bar of Cadbury’s Caramel but she has recently gone without in order to lose a few pounds. She likes a glass of wine and any wine lover will shudder when I tell you she takes it with lemonade and juice added to sweeten it! She’s an excellent cook and can drum some fabulous meals. She liked to travel until recently age prevents her going too far away. She’s getting more and more cynical in her later days and won’t book up holidays in case she’s not around by then but seeing as her own mother my lovely Great nana Bess lived until the ripe old age of 103 I think she can book up don’t you?

So ladies seeing as I come from a very long living background, hope you like reading my blog as I may be around for quite a while yet :)


  1. Vicki Lindridge
    August 26, 2010 / 10:22 AM

    How lovely and Nanny Nona looks amazing. My great-nan Ivy lived to 96 and also lived independently on her own in her house in Croydon. She passed in October 2000 due to her falling and a blood clot forming. If it wasnt fot that she would have gone on for years. xxxx

    • August 26, 2010 / 12:39 PM

      What a fabulous name Ivy! And a great age to reach too, I think one of the major problems my nan has is seeing her dearest friends pass before her, I think it must leave you with a strange sense of loss and loneliness. Luckily she has Paul’s dad to take her out and about. Looks like you may be arouodn for quite a while too – maybe we’ll take up knitting together in our old age? :)

  2. Nickie@Typecast
    August 26, 2010 / 11:19 AM

    Wow, she sounds like an amazing lady. Is that a recent photo? She doesn’t look 90 years old.
    Happy birthday to your Ninnin :)

    • August 26, 2010 / 12:32 PM

      The photo was taken in the spring when Megan came over with her daughter from Italy. She does look fabulous doesn’t she

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