My Nana died too soon. She had cancer and was only 76, I was 18 and was just starting to get to know her. I cleaned the upstairs of her house every week and our relationship was changing from one of Grandmother and Grandchild to Margaret and Carrie – real people. My heart aches for her daily. She fought a viliant battle, with humour and was ever the lady until the end.
On May day past Andrew and I visited the gardens of Glenarm Castle, they were having a Tulip Festival and we happily stumbled upon it. My lust for the Tulip has erupted this year, we are having a scandalous love affair.
As with all these large estates there was also a cafe and as usual we Gaults can’t pass up the opportunity to have a coffee and a wee biscuit. So Monday was no different; though the queue was long and cramped we waited quite patiently (we Gaults love a good orderily queue as well). When we got our table it was simple to order, Andrew needed fruit loaf, Ineeded a fakemeal biscuit. They arrived in moments, freshly baked and utterly scrumptious looking.
I took a bite. From nowhere tears welled in my eyes and embarassed though I was I couldn’t help but choke and make a sound of child like pain in the packed cafe. The biscuit, from that moment transported me to my Nana’s home and she was there and I was small and feeling loved by her prescence and this treat she had made for me. I don’t even remember exactly everything she baked but she was an excellent cook and loved to make biscuits and treats for her grandchildren, children and husband; I don’t remember her eating them herself.
This flakey, crumbly square was delicious and I savoured every moment, longing for it to last forever. I couldn’t even speak, Andrew just heard the words ‘my Nana’. My heart was breaking with each small bite but at the same time I was completely at ease and, is happy the right word? I even licked my finger and ate the crumbs from the plate, smiling as I did so – she thought that bad manners, hehe.
I’ve never experienced that before, smells yes, certain places or gestures, they remind me of her but this was so unexpected, I tasted our love. I have very few childhood memories, I guess I’ve blocked out a lot of stuff so this was like a dream for me a deep seeded emotional impression.
Biscuits may well be frivilious treats but in the rarest of cases they are port-holes to another time and I will treasure that feeling and that simple flakemeal biscuit for a long time.