Sharky and George is on the telly. Me and my sister Jenny are eating coco pops from a variety pack. Mum tells us to pour the milk straight into the packets to save on washing up a bowl. The phone rings and I run over to it. I love answering the phone, especially if it’s Nanny Pam.
‘Hello, who is it?’
‘Which one are you?’ a man asks. It’s Grandad.
Once every year and a bit, Granddad makes a surprise visit to our house. I like Grandad, I’m just shy of him because I don’t know him very well, and his aftershave smells like beef.
One time we all hid behind the sofa until he went away.
Granddad arrives and I hide in the airing cupboard until mum makes me come out.
It’s July. My birthday is in December but Grandad has bought a huge pile of presents for Jenny and me. All the presents are boxes of cherry liqueurs. Mum says we might be allowed one a night and only at the weekend as they are alcoholic. Granddad says they go out of date next week.
Grandad takes us all outside to look in his car boot; this is my favorite part of his visits, because there are always different things to look at.
This time there are more boxes of cherry liqueurs, broken video players and ornaments of pigs doing human things like playing golf or sunbathing. He pulls out a video from the foot well and gives it to Jenny, it’s an American cartoon called ‘Jem’, and the case smells like salt and vinegar crisps and cheese. I’m allowed to choose a pig so I pick one that is loading a washing machine.
Mum makes Grandad gammon and chips. He starts telling her about his ex wife being a robbin’ bitch, and that he should never have left Nanny Pam.
Grandad asks me what my cat is called. I say ‘Tosca’, and he asks why would I call a cat Tosser? Then puts his cigarette out in his fried egg.
My Dad gets up and says he needs to take the car to be washed and asks if I want to go with him. Dad only ever washes his car when Grandad’s here.
When we get back Grandad has gone. Me and Jenny make things up about things we saw Grandad do. She said she saw him take a bite out of a block of cheddar in the fridge. I say I saw him wipe a bogey on her pillow. Jenny makes me smell the video he gave her, and mum lets us have a cherry liqueur each.