It was to be a very busy and eventful year, as the reader I am sure has worked out, it was also the year that Granny remarried. She married a person that I would sooner forget than remember as he was the foulest character of a man that has ever lived, compared to him my great grandmother was Florence Nightingale. His name was Robert Allan.
We as a family were not invited to their wedding as my father was German and Robert had lost his leg during the Second World War, therefore in his opinion any German was immediately classified as a Nazi, he had also lost his sense of humour, compassion, manners and anything else that is needed to make a person humane, in the same war. I am convinced he had become an alcoholic just to make him a more likable person.
We only visited Granny in her new home in Forest Town three times during her short marriage and each one stands out in my mind as clearly as watching the Twin Towers collapse. The first was probably the mildest, and also the shortest, I have no idea why we went to visit them but I was slightly surprised that my father went off to do something else that Saturday afternoon as he usually always drove us to any place that we visited as a family. It was a little perplexing to have my mother drive us anywhere. But it was also really exhilarating to see Granny again as we had not seen her since her wedding and honeymoon. The Saturday matinees had also stopped as she had responsibilities to her new husband.
We were greeted by Robert as we mounted the stairs to the veranda in front of his house with the words “I see you have brought that Nazi’s brat along”. Not knowing what a Nazi was I thought he had said “naatjie” the Afrikaans word for an orange like fruit with a very soft skin, so no offense taken. The next thing I knew was that both my mother and Granny had broken into tears.
Robert glared at both of them, took a bottle from under the blanket that covered his single leg while he sat in his wheelchair and started to drink directly from it, shouting at both mother and Granny. Almost foaming at the mouth screaming that he would never have a Nazi in his house as long as he lived, and if Granny had to see us she could damn well drive the few miles to our house and see us at our pigsty.
He then wheeled himself indoors and left us staring at the closed door like bomb survivors. We left. My mother was crying so much that she could hardly have seen where she was going when she reversed out of the driveway and into the road. We stopped at the stop sign at the end of the road and she cried for about fifteen minutes before we were able to continue our journey home.
When we finally resumed our ignoble retreat I was full of questions, the major one being why Robert thought I was a naatjie, as I was sure that in no way was I orange in colour, also what was a bastard? Mother tried to explain, but all she did was confuse me more. For instance what did I have to do with a war that had taken place before I was born, and anyway what was war?
Lots of Hugs and more,