... in biscuits

Published on 12 Oct 2017
A milky coffee and three hobnobs

When I go shopping with my partner, we take it turns to choose the biscuits for the week.

My preferred biscuit is digestives because it is what we always had at home (I think my Mum thought they were 'plain'). This week though my hand hovered over the biscuit aisle before coming to rest on the Hobnobs, and I returned home triumphant with this week's biscuits. 

It can be the small things in life ... the taste of Hobnobs immediately takes me back to my early childhood, when I used to go to my grandmother's house. My grandmother's biscuit of choice was hobnobs, and when I taste them I can imagine the carpet in her house, the table and the chairs, as if it was yesterday.

My grandmother lived very near my home and used to help out a lot in taking care of us. She helped us to learn to read, brushed my hair in the mornings, made me milky coffee to go with breakfast (she thought it helped in the cold weather) and helped with the post breakfast washing up. I think she sometimes took us to school. In the school holidays she found craft activities for us to do, and took us to the zoo once.  She didn't give us sweets, like some grandmothers do, but that was probably a good thing. 

My grandmother had a strong Christian faith, (she was an Anglican) and I know she always prayed for us. When she was moved from her flat into a carehome, because it was a better place for her (and gave her a new lease of life, contrary to some expectations) a little icon moved with her and a cross for her wall. She was a regular church goer and after she died, when we had a memorial service for her in her old parish church, there was a huge turnout.

Whenever I used to visit her, she used to smile and cry out my name with such joy. I always felt so loved. Even on her bad days (she was quite deaf, and sometimes grumpy) she never really got cross with me. When she was in her last years (she died at a very good age) she told me that when she couldn't sleep (as older people often can't) she would pray for me in the small hours. This thought stengthened me then, and still does. 

You take for granted this kind of love when you are a child, and its only later as an adult when you really appreciate it. When others asked me how I could be so patient with other people, or forgiving, my reply has always been that I have known great love in my life, and it wells up within me. So I thank God for my grandmother, and all she taught me, and thank goodness for hobnobs, for reminding me!